Lithuania is the topic for the first political satire of 2022 by Niklas “@Kludd-Niklas” Eriksson, published here on Kinamedia every second Monday.
Few readers of Kinamedia – or really any media following international relations – has missed out on the geopolitical rift between China and one of the smallest member countries of the European Union.
This rift is by no means isolated to Lithuania only. Other members states will be involved whether they want to or not. After early reports that Lithuanian exports are stuck in Chinese ports, Beijing doubled down on its economic punishment strategy by threatening multinational companies that they risk access to China’s lucrative consumer market unless they cut cooperation with suppliers in the small Baltic state.
German vehicle parts manufacturer Continental have already been subject to such pressure from China. Swedish media also recently warned that Swedish companies could face similar dilemmas soon, if Lithuania doesn’t give in to a range of political demands from China.
And kowtowing doesn’t seem to be included in Vilnius’ action plan. Instead, the Lithuanian government have asked for assistance from other democratic countries and institutions including, naturally, the EU.
While the US has readily been offering political as well as monetary support for Lithuania, the EU has been slower to act.
In mid-December, the European Commission announced that it “may take the trade row” to the World Trade Organisation, if it can find enough evidence that Beijing is violating international trade rules by its actions against Lithuania.
As the Commission is dragging its feet – will other members states be ready to act in accordance to the stated purpose of the union by helping out a smaller nation under bilateral political and economic pressure from the world’s biggest dictatorship?
This week’s cartoon can be viewed in full size via this link.
A full collection of Kludd-Niklas’ works for Kinamedia can be seen here.