Over 20,000 bottles of Lithuanian rum arrive in Taiwan
Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) A shipment of Lithuanian rum bought by Taiwan to prevent it from potentially being blocked by Chinese customs amid Beijing's economic sanctions on the Baltic state, arrived at the Port of Keelung on late Tuesday night.
The container ship that carries 20,400 0.7L bottles of dark rum produced by MV Group Production docked at the port's Wharf No.17 of west bank at 10:45 p.m.
It is expected to take three days for the shipment to clear customs before the Lithuanian rum can be re-labeled and sold on the local market, according to the state-owned Tobacco and Liquor Corp. (TTL), which bought the liquor.
The price is still under discussion, TTL Vice President Liao Chih-chien (廖志堅) told CNA, projecting the liquor could be sold for under NT$1,000 (US$36.22) per bottle.
TTL is hoping to begin selling the dark rum in local markets before the end of the month, Liao said.
The company said it was notified on Dec. 18 by the Ministry of Finance and Eric Huang (黃鈞耀), 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 Chinese customs.
According to TTL, this was because China reportedly removed Lithuania from its list of origin countries in early December, which in effect blocked any cargo from that country from entering China.
Though the Chinese customs department later reportedly put Lithuania back on its list, TTL said there have been instances since then of shipments of Lithuanian beer still being blocked at the Chinese border.
TTL said the decision to purchase the Lithuanian rum was to show support for the Baltic nation, which has been facing increasing political and economic pressure from Beijing due to Lithuania allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in November with "Taiwanese" in its official name.
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