Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Eric Huang (third from right), newly appointed director to Lithuania's newly established Taiwan Representative Office, poses with staffers outside the office in Vilinius, Lithuania, November 2021. Credit: Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs What started as a diplomatic spat between China and Lithuania over the status of Taiwan is now creating economic tension across the European Union, providing a test for the region’s leaders of their ability to stand up to the world’s second-largest economy. Lithuania, a northern European country with a population under 3 million, sparked a row with China last March when it announced plans to establish a Taiwanese Representative Office — a de facto embassy — in its capital, Vilnius. The office opened in November using the island’s name, rather than the term “Taipei,” which many other countries, including the U.S., have adopted for similar offices. In response, China — which claims Taiwan as part of its territory — recalled its ambassador from Vilnius in August and expelled his Lithuanian counterpart. Lithuania has, in turn, shut down its embassy in Beijing and recalled its diplomats. The showdown escalated further in December when China imposed informal sanctiSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.