tirsdag 6. april 2021

Opinion: Lithuania's challenge to China is risky, but clever

The Baltic country's decision to leave the Beijing-sponsored "17+1" format is a reminder of what trans-Atlantic solidarity will mean in the 21st century, writes Konstantin Eggert. Founded in 2012, the "17 + 1" format, which brings together China with 17 Central European, Balkan and Baltic states, is officially dedicated to developing mutual investment and trade. But it is better known as a vehicle for China to promote large-scale infrastructure projects within its global "Belt and Road" initiative.

Lithuania's demonstrative rejection of its engagement with Beijing, coupled with its intention to seek trade relations with Taiwan, is an extraordinarily bold move for an EU country, especially after the European Union and China recently reached a comprehensive deal on investments. It also contrasts sharply with the China-friendly stance of some other Central European states, for example, Hungary.