EU suspends WTO dispute with China over alleged economic coercion of Lithuania

The European Union has suspended a World Trade Organization dispute with China over alleged economic coercion of Lithuania.

The long-running dispute emerged after the tiny Baltic nation hosted a controversially named Taiwanese office in its capital city Vilnius.

Subsequently, Lithuanian companies found the country had been wiped from China’s customs system.

The country’s exports to China were almost eviscerated, with Brussels saying it had evidence of a refusal to clear Lithuanian goods at customs and a rejection of applications from Lithuania.

It also claimed to have evidence of China pressuring companies operating from other EU member states to remove Lithuanian inputs from their supply chains when exporting to the country.

A note circulated to WTO members on Friday said the EU, which represents its 27 member states at the Geneva body, wanted to “immediately suspend its proceedings, in accordance with Article 12.12 of the understanding”.

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