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CHOICE NEWSLETTER: Czechia and Lithuania Seek to Normalize the Ties with China

Kara Němečková Kara Němečková / Ed. 18. 12. 2023
CHOICE NEWSLETTER: Czechia and Lithuania Seek to Normalize the Ties with China

In this edition of the CHOICE newsletter, we examine the signs of normalization of ties between select CEE countries and China and present our latest outputs.

As Italy withdraws from the Belt and Road Initiative against the backdrop of the EU-China summit, there are indications that certain Central and Eastern European states are seeking to mend relations with Beijing. This shift follows a period of a deep rift in relations which has stemmed from the CEE countries’ engagement with Taiwan and China’s silent support for Russian aggression.

Recently, the Czech National Security Advisor Tomáš Pojar traveled to China where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. This marked the highest-level contact under the current government, which has been in power since December 2021. The delegation was organized jointly by the government office and by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pojar was also joined by the Director General of the Office for Foreign Relations and Information (ÚZSI), Foreign Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic. According to Pojar, the aim of the mission was to discourage Beijing from pursuing closer ties with Moscow.

The trip has raised eyebrows within the Czech security community. Speculations also emerged about a potential visit of the Czech Prime Minister Fiala to China next year. Even though Fiala has refuted these claims asserting that there are currently no such plans, both coalition partners and the opposition would support such a trip. Pirate MP Jakub Michálek has underscored the importance of engaging with China to prevent escalation between China and Taiwan, especially in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Read the full newsletter below.

Original source: CHOICE NEWSLETTER: Czechia and Lithuania Seek to Normalize the Ties with China

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