The Baltic breeze hit Beijing
Someone has to tell the Chinese Communist Party not to cling to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The three countries were really small compared to the Soviet occupier. However, they, like pebbles in a large mechanism, caused the collapse of the Soviet empire.
Today, the Baltic states are remembering the past, destroying in particular the flagship event of Beijing’s Eastern European policy: the “17 + 1” summit held on February 9. The population of the three Baltic states is actually less than one hundred and two hundred of China’s population, which reaches 1.4 billion. However, the Baltics have what the Beijing aggressors lack – moral self-confidence.
For example, their refusal to accept the criminal division of Europe under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not historical pedantry. That refusal exposed the lie on which the Soviet Empire was founded: that the USSR was a voluntary union of peoples and nations. Lithuania’s bold proclamation of restored independence in March 1990 dealt a devastating blow to the legitimacy of Soviet rule. There were also practical steps. In the same year, the Estonian-led initiative united the pro-independence republics and pro-democratic Russians in Moscow and Leningrad, who zealously conspired against the imperialist “center.”
China’s imperialist ambitions include divide and rule games in Europe. One of the tactics is to accumulate influence in the poorer “eastern” member states, offering them a special cultural and economic attitude. The targets are 17 countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. All of them are former enslaved countries, except for the newest member of the 17 + 1 initiative, Greece.
So far, the tactics have worked quite well. In the end, no one seemed to object. China is a big country. It may become a counterweight to Russia. Why not treat her kindly?
THE ADVANTAGES OF THE “17 + 1” FORMAT WERE EXAGGERATED, AND NOT ALL PROMISES WERE FULFILLED. AND AT LEAST SOME EUROPEAN COUNTRIES UNDERSTAND GEOPOLITICS: IF US SUPPORT IS NEEDED IN DEFENSE AGAINST RUSSIA, IT MAKES SENSE TO HELP THE US AUTHORITIES WITH THEIR PRIORITY PROBLEM – CHINA
In fact, some countries seem to be blind to dangers. Polish President Andrzej Duda took part in a virtual Chinese summit, probably encouraged by a proposal for an agreement on agricultural exports, and possibly because of the insult to the new administration in Washington. Joe Biden has not yet called his colleague in Warsaw. Be that as it may, participation in the summit was a mistake: Poland’s position as the largest among the 17 countries is decisive. The Poles could put an end to China’s operations of influence and establish their own regional leadership. We look forward to it.
However, six countries disobeyed China’s instructions for their senior officials to respond in response to the summit being held in person by Xi Jinping. Estonia and Latvia sent only foreign ministers. Lithuania, the leader of the opposition, is the Minister of Transport. China was furious and in the middle of the night called the Lithuanian ambassador to clarify the situation. It didn’t work. Lithuanians react badly to derisive behavior, Mikhail Gorbachev is well aware of this.
Terrible human rights abuses and China’s aggressive foreign policy have contributed to its defeat. As well as the fact that the advantages of the “17 + 1” format were exaggerated and not all promises were fulfilled. And at least some European countries understand geopolitics: if US support is needed in defense against Russia, it makes sense to help the American authorities with their priority problem – China.
China really did not give up. His vaccine diplomacy is paving the way for the Western Balkans, Hungary, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. This shows the price to be paid for the indecision and disorganization of the West.
However, more failures lie ahead. The Chinese Communist Party should be particularly concerned about news of Lithuania’s increased participation in a Western-backed competitive initiative by the West. The initiative is joined by 12 member countries and aims to promote links between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. New members, such as Finland and Ukraine, should join, its interests should be expanded and a permanent administration introduced. The fundamental problem of Beijing’s scheme from the beginning was not “17” but “1”.