Taiwan buys Lithuanian rum that faced potential Chinese hurdles

Taiwan has decided to purchase a shipment of Lithuanian rum to prevent it from being potentially blocked by Chinese customs amid Beijing's growing economic sanctions on the Baltic state, Tobacco and Liquor Corp. (TTL) said Monday.

In a statement, the state-owned company said about 20,400 bottles of dark rum produced by MV Group Production are now being re-routed to Taiwan.

The shipment is expected to arrive later this month, where the liquor initially destined for China will be re-labeled and sold on the local market, TTL said.

The company said it was notified on Dec. 18 by the Ministry of Finance and Eric Huang (???), head of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, that a batch of Lithuanian rum scheduled to arrive in China on Dec. 29 could face potential hurdles with customs there.

According to TTL, this was because China reportedly removed Lithuania from its list of origin countries in early December, virtually blocking any cargo from that country from entering China.

Though Chinese customs later reportedly put Lithuania back on its list, TTL said there have been examples since then of shipments of Lithuanian beer still being blocked at the Chinese border.

It said the decision to purchase the Lithuanian rum was to show support for the Baltic nation, which has faced increasing political and economic pressure from Beijing to punish the Baltic nation for allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in November using the name "Taiwanese."

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel