Lithuania’s foreign minister on Thursday used his visit to Australia to double down on Vilnius’ move to stand up against Beijing, and to call for like-minded rules-based countries to counter growing “economic coercion” from nations like China and Russia . Gabrielius Landsbergis, who was in Canberra to open a new diplomatic mission, said during a speech that the Lithuanian government had not breached its support of the “One China” policy by allowing the Taiwanese representative office in the capital Vilnius to carry the name Taiwan . The self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing views as a renegade province, is not formally recognised as an independent state by most countries, and usually uses the names Taipei or the Republic of China on the world stage. Near-total collapse in Lithuania’s China exports after row over Taiwan Landsbergis said Lithuania would not back down or stand to be bullied when asked if a “truce with China” was on the table. He added that countries like China were increasingly weaponising trade for political leverage. China on Wednesday suspended imports of beef from Lithuania but did not give a reason for the decision. The move came months after Beijing downgraded diplomatic ties with Vilnius after the opening of the Taiwanese office. “We believe that people from Taiwan can ask their representative office to be called the way they want it. We’ve been very specific that we adhere to our One China policy and we didn’t break our rules and obligations,” Landsbergis said at the Australian Press Club. “We figured that China would be upset. And we’ll be upset that they’re upset. But that should stop there.” Landsbergis said Lithuania’s actions were justified given the support of the Lithuanian people for Taiwan, but that the matter had “escalated wide” as China wanted to make an example of Lithuania to other countries. When asked if he advocated for Australia to join the naming convention, Landsbergis said there were “ongoing discussions” in other countries and that Lithuania was “not alone”. On Wednesday, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne reaffirmed Australia was committed to its One China policy and was not looking to rename Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Australia , the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia. We need to reinvigorate the partnerships between the liberal democracies that built and maintain the rules-based world order Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis Landsbergis on Thursday also called for like-minded rules-based countries to band together, diversify trade and establish new supply chains amid concerns of growing economic coercion by nations such as Russia and China. He did not outline steps on how countries would be able to achieve that nor the time needed to do so, though he said he was supportive of the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement. “We need to reinvigorate the partnerships between the liberal democracies that built and maintain the rules-based world order … this is one of the reasons I am here today,” Landsbergis said. “This is why I support the free-trade agreement between Australia and the EU.” He also condemned Russia’s military action around Ukraine and warned that “what Putin might do next depends on what the West would allow him to do”, adding that the US’ role in defending European countries like the Baltic states was not symbolic but essential. Analysts have viewed Lithuania’s latest political exploits as strategic. Vilnius has said its drastic turn against Beijing was about upholding democratic values globally but its traditional fear of Russia was likely a key driver for its policies, Denis Kishinevsky said in a research paper for the Carnegie Moscow Center late last year. “Officially, Vilnius wants to protect freedoms and democracy across the world, from Minsk to Taipei. Upon closer inspection, however, Vilnius is selective in where it chooses to uphold its democratic values,” he wrote. “Behind the noble rhetoric, a pragmatic calculation can be discerned. By acting as the driving force behind anti-Chinese initiatives, Lithuania hopes to focus US attention on the region and procure guarantees that Washington will not scale back its presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.” Before going to Australia, Landsbergis also visited Singapore, where Lithuania plans to open its first Southeast Asian embassy. Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, in a post on Facebook, said he had last year extended an invitation to Landsbergis to visit. “As small states, Singapore and Lithuania share similar views towards free trade, the rule of law, and multilateralism. I look forward to working with Minister Landsbergis to strengthen our cooperation in areas including digital and economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges,” he wrote. Grant Wyeth, a Melbourne-based political analyst and columnist for The Diplomat , said Australia’s joint appearance with Lithuania was an opportunity for Canberra to decry its own economic coercion. Australian goods such as coal and wine have been blocked by China in the past two years amid a frayed relationship with its largest trade partner. “I think Australia’s made the decision that if everything is ‘a move that will anger China’, then there’s no point trying to tippy-toe around their sensitivities,” Wyeth said. “I think Australia is very keen to make a point about economic coercion though, that this cannot become normalised.” However, it was unlikely any of this would change China’s actions or interests as Beijing too has to please its domestic audience, Wyeth said. Australia, Lithuania unite against China’s ‘economic coercion’ China has criticised Lithuania previously for “disregarding the bigger picture of China-Lithuania relations and basic norms governing international relations”. “Those acting in bad faith and going further down the wrong path will only reap what they sow,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said last November. Last month, the EU launched a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against China for its alleged economic coercion of Lithuania by refusing to clear Lithuanian goods through customs.