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Chinese Government Pressures Continental to Cut Ties With Lithuania Over Taiwan

It's par for the course for international auto conglomerates to have petty squabbles with each other. But it's profoundly different when one nation's government pressures an automaker to cut ties with another, with whom they disagree ideologically.
Continental Tires 6 photos
Continental TiresContinental TiresContinental TiresContinental TiresContinental Tires
These are the latest accusations levied at the Chinese Government. The latest report from Reuters details how the German auto parts supplier Continental has seen pressure from the Chinese Communist Party to cut ties with its facilities in the Baltic state of Lithuania.

The news comes after Lithuanian lawmakers doubled down on their stance towards the Republic of Taiwan as its own legitimate and rightfully independent country separate from Mainland China. This notion directly contradicts the edicts of Communist Party leader Xi Xinping. The Chinese President has made it clear he has no qualms with military brinkmanship over the heavily disputed Taiwanese islands.

Official party sources have warned the German auto supplier to sever ties with its production facilities in Lithuania immediately or face severing ties entirely with the world's fastest-growing economy. In an auto market where a global supply chain shortage has profits strained on all sides, this could prove a death penalty for an already ailing global supplier.

Continental is primarily known for its rubber tire production. Their performance tires are world-renowned for their advanced rubber compounds and competitive price to performance figures. Strained ties with one of their largest markets could see the brand unable to continue the high degree of quality control they've prided themselves on for decades. They could become one of the first permanent casualties of the global supply chain crisis if powerful outside actors continue to throw their weight around.

Meanwhile, the situation in the South China Sea remains dubious at best. American and Chinese militaries continue to have a profound presence in the region. By rook or by crook, Continental has found itself right in the crosshairs of this scuffle. It's a case of international foreign policy at its absolute worst.


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