Vilnius vs Beijing per Taiwan (i Brussel·les?)

SLOVENIA URGES EU LEADERS TO BACK LITHUANIA OVER CHINA: Slovenia’s PM Janez Janša wants his fellow EU leaders to back Lithuania at their next summit on October 6. “We must show more proactive and assertive solidarity with Lithuania. We must show China that we stand with each other, and that we will not let China threaten any of us,” Janša wrote in a letter to EU heads of state and government, which Playbook has for you here.

Vilnius vs. Beijing: He was referring to Lithuania’s escalating tensions with Beijing, after the country pulled out of the 17+1 initiative and later allowed Taiwan to open a de-facto embassy in Vilnius. China retaliated by kicking out Lithuania’s ambassador and imposing trade restrictions.

Joint EU stance? Other EU countries are less inclined to back Lithuania after it picked what they see as a predictable fight — given China’s well-known ire at any country that makes steps toward formalizing relations with Taiwan. “EU foreign policy would be so much better and more effective if we all agreed on a joint policy first and then took joint action in solidarity with each other,” an EU diplomat told Playbook. “Instead, member states still too often go it alone first — and when there is a pushback, they call for EU solidarity and support.”

MEANWHILE, IN THE UK: The U.K. houses of parliament decided Tuesday to bar China’s ambassador to the country, Zheng Zeguang, in retaliation over Beijing imposing sanctions on British MPs earlier this year. More here.

15-IX-21, nytimes