Edition and Translation : Jenny Ball
Review: yuddy

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and Australia’s Foreign Minister agreed that the two countries would jointly respond to coercion from China. The picture shows the visiting Landsbergis at the U.S. State Department on September 15th, 2021. (MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Kirchberger stated that, with Beijing emphasising its “unlimited” cooperation with Moscow, Europe has become aware that some countries are not well-intentioned actors and will not follow the rules, and that we must reduce our vulnerability and susceptibility to relying on China.

Central and Eastern European countries reacted most strongly to the Russian-Ukrainian war because the Soviet invasion and imposed communism are still fresh in their minds, and their support for Ukraine this time is also the strongest. The Chinese Communist Party is hesitant to condemn Russia. It has stated repeatedly that it “resolutely opposes any illegal unilateral sanctions,” that it cooperates with Russia “without limit,” and that it secretly supports Russia, which chills the hearts of Central and Eastern European countries.

In order to strengthen ties with Central and Eastern European countries, the CCP established the “16+1 Cooperation” geo-cooperation mechanism in 2012. It was expanded to “17+1” after Greece joined in 2019. The CCP is using this as a pawn to divide the EU. Central and Eastern Europe, on the other hand, have not benefited from it and have received very little investment. It has been declining year by year since 2016, and it is concentrated in Hungary and Serbia, the CCP’s most friendly countries.

As relations between Beijing and Lithuania deteriorated sharply, Lithuania officially announced its withdrawal from the 17+1 cooperation organisation in May of last year. The Russian-Ukrainian war has united the countries of Central and Eastern Europe around NATO, the European Union, and the United States, and has pushed them further away from the CCP.

According to Andreea Brinza, vice president of the Asia-Pacific Institute in Romania, the Ukrainian war has widened the deep divide between CCP China and the CEE countries.

The CCP is terrified and tries to find a way in the east

On April 21st, Xi Jinping delivered a video speech at the Boao Forum, proposing a “Global security initiative” and urging the abandonment of the “Cold War mentality.”

Xi Jinping stated in his speech that China should actively promote its accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) (DEPA).

However, not long before Xi Jinping delivered his speech, the CCP and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific signed a security agreement that alarmed the U.S. and its allies. According to the White House, the U.S. delegation met with Solomon leaders on April 22nd and warned that the U.S. would express serious concerns about any move by the CCP to establish a permanent military presence in Solomon and would respond accordingly.

On April 26th, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the State Department’s budget for fiscal year 2023. He stated that the U.S. will continue to monitor the China-Solomon Islands security cooperation agreement.

Former Nikkei Asia China bureau chief Katsuji Nakazawa analysed, “The most recent Chinese (the CCP) development in the Pacific region is related to the Belt and Road Initiative’s stagnation as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Attempts to establish a large-scale economic zone extending westward from Eurasia have been thwarted by the Russian invasion, and China is now looking east.”

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Link of the source article: hk.epochtimes.com