The China State Railway Group Co (China Railway) on Wednesday denied a Baltic media report that the Chinese railway operator suspended freight trains to Lithuania due to “political tension,” saying the freight trains are in normal service.
But experts noted that such a suspension of service could be an option for the Chinese side, who urged the Baltic country to act wisely rather than blindly follow the US’ containment of China at the cost of its own interests.
The Baltic News Service, the largest news agency operating in the Baltic countries, claimed it obtained a letter from China Railway Containers – China Railway’s subsidiary – to Lithuanian customers. The letter read that due to the political tension between Lithuania and China, the freight train originally scheduled to depart from China to Lithuania at the end of this month will be cancelled.
China Railway on Wednesday denied the report in a statement sent to the Global Times. It said that media reports on China Railway Containers suspending freight trains to Lithuania were false, and the China-Europe trains between the two countries are under normal operations.
Taiwan island-based Central News Agency cited Baltic media as saying that Ramūnas Rimkus, the Lithuanian transport counselor in China, said the “Chinese decision of suspending freight” was out of political considerations.
But in an email to the Global Times, Rimkus said Lithuanian authority did not get any information on the suspension of the trains between China and Lithuania. For now, trains are still going to Lithuania.
Rimkus did not explain his remarks quoted by other media.
China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania, Shen Zhifei, and demanded the Lithuanian ambassador to China be recalled on August 10 after the Baltic country allowed the separatist Taiwan authorities to open a “representative office” under the name of “Taiwan,” a move seen as provocation to the one-China principle.
From January to April 2021, trade between the Chinese mainland and Lithuania was $804.57 million, up 21 percent year-on-year. Lithuania’s trade with Taiwan island during the same period was $45.9 million.
Source: Global Times