Context:

  • Lithuania said that it was quitting China’s 17+1 cooperation forum with central and eastern European states that includes other EU members, calling it “divisive”.
  • The Baltic country urged fellow EU members to pursue “a much more effective 27+1 approach and communication with China.”
  • Recently, Lithuania also took several steps that angered Beijing, including the blocking of Chinese investment and announcing it would open a trade office in Taiwan.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India’s Neighbors, Important International Groupings affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries
  2. Lithuania

Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries

  • Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (China-CEE/16+1) is an initiative by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote business and investment relations between China and 16 countries of CEE (CEEC) – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  • The format was founded in 2012 in Warsaw to push for cooperation of the “17+1” (the 17 CEE countries and China).
  • The China-CEE secretariat is in Beijing, with 17 “national coordinators” in each of the partner CEE countries.
  • The format’s goals are to promote the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and enhance cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, transportation and logistics, trade and investment”.

Lithuania

  • Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe and it lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.
  • Lithuania is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy; ranking very high in the Human Development Index.
  • It ranks favourably in terms of civil liberties, press freedom and internet freedom.
  • However, Lithuania has experienced a gradual population decline since the 1990s, with social issues such as income inequality and high suicide rate remaining a problem.
  • Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, eurozone, the Nordic Investment Bank, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It participates in the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) regional co-operation format.

-Source: The Hindu

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