In November, Communist China downgraded its diplomatic status with the tiny European country of Lithuania from a full ambassador to a charge d’affaires,  Then in early December, the Communist Party in Beijing ordered multinational companies to sever ties with the tiny European nation of Lithuania or be shut out of the market in mainland China.

So why is China coming down on this small European country like a ton of bricks?

It goes back a couple of years.  In 2019, the Lithuanian Department of State Security called out Communist China in its annual report on threats to their country. Soon after, President Gitanas Nauseda warned against rising Chinese investment in developing Lithuania’s ports. This was allowed to simmer until May 2021, when Lithuania bailed from the “17+1 format.” This China-proposed program involved cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with Beijing regarding infrastructure.  Lithuania took a hard look at China’s Huawei company offering 5G infrastructure in Europe and found that Chinese-made phones have chips in them that could be used to censor anti-Bejing content.

China reacted by recalling its ambassador in August, who obviously wasn’t being very effective at getting Lithuania to go along with the rest of Europe.