VILNIUS (Reuters) – Taiwan will create a $ 200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade, he said on Wednesday, as the fiercely democratic island seeks to push back diplomatic pressure from the China over the Baltic state.

Lithuania is under pressure from China to reverse its decision last year to allow Taiwan to open a representative office – a de facto embassy – in Vilnius under its own name.

Beijing claims Taiwan as its “sacred” territory, ineligible for its own diplomatic relations with other countries, and has stepped up pressure over the past two years to assert its claims to sovereignty, fueling anger in Taipei and deep concern. in Washington.

China has never renounced the use of force to ensure eventual unification.

The strategic investment fund will be financed by the National Taiwan Development Fund and will be supported by the central bank of Taiwan, the head of Taiwan’s representative office in Lithuania, Eric Huang, said at a press conference in line.

“We will establish the fund as soon as possible and we hope that this year we will have tangible results… I can imagine that the first priorities will be semiconductors, laser (and) biotechnology,” Huang said.

Taiwan will also speed up its approval process for Lithuanian dairy and grain exports to Taiwan, and seek to link Lithuanian companies with Taiwanese supply chains, he added.

In August, China recalled its ambassador and in November downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania, and also called on multinational companies to sever ties with Lithuania or face exclusion from the Chinese market.