Lithuanian formin, in Japan, calls for reducing dependence on China

  • 2023-05-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who is visiting Japan this week, on Monday called for assessing threats posed by China and reducing dependence on Beijing.

"Eliminating risks could be the right step for the moment, but we must be prepared for a scenario where, as in the case of Russia, China's trajectory will again leave us with no choice but to distance ourselves," Landsbergis said at the Munich Leaders Meeting. 

"We must swiftly adopt measures to combat the economic and political violence that many countries have faced and will face," he said. "We must ensure that the rules-based international order remains fair and attractive to the rest of the world."

Lithuania has learned from its long history of relations with Russia to recognize warning signs, according to the minister.

"But don't we see these signs in today's Asia? However, the problem is usually not about missing the signs. As in Russia, the biggest challenge is to have the will and the courage to act before it's too late," he said.

Lithuania's top diplomat told the conference that to prevent the current aggression from becoming the new norm, Ukraine must win the war, which requires further military assistance from all allies. 

"For Ukraine's victory to be sustainable, the only organization that can give it effective security guarantees is NATO. Vilnius is hosting NATO's summit on July 11-12, which is where a path to Ukraine's membership has to be paved," he said. 

On the sidelines of the Munich Leaders Meeting, Landsbergis also met with Wolfgang Schmidt, Germany's federal minister for special tasks and head of the Federal Chancellery, with Japanese Digital Minister Taro Kono, and with the foreign ministers of the Philippines and the Maldives.