In international politics, in a closely connected world, even very small events, not really recognised by European media, can raise towards challanging problems.
The government of Lithuania underestimated how seriously China takes even small provocations with regard to Taiwan. Now there is some wake-up in the German auto industry and in the German federal government. China is refusing to import parts from a major automotive supplier, Continental (Conti) if these parts contain components from Lithuania, Continental produces electronics for smart vehicles there.
It should not be a surprise that Beijing is taking action and it effects on the large EU countries, Germany, for the offense that was caused by Lithuania, a small EU country.
What worries me more: our Government is surprised; China will not allow any state act that indicates acceptance of Taiwan.
The German federal government has now the challenging task of formulating an appropriate answer. But does not want to go into a premature confrontation with China. It’ll be a first litmus test of the newly assigned and little experienced ministers of the Ministry of Economics and especially Foreign Affairs.
In my opinion, the focus should be to protect the German automotive industry from an escalation of this already difficult situation. The German - Chinese relationship needs collaboration and cooperation and - together, in all economic areas.