Relations with China continue despite Latvia’s withdrawal

Greece remains a member of the cooperative framework between China and more than a dozen Central and Eastern European countries, from which Latvia and Estonia withdrew on Thursday, following in the footsteps of Lithuania, which withdrew last May.

The move comes amid Western criticism of China for increasing military pressure on Taiwan, a democratically controlled island it claims to be its own territory.

Latvia’s foreign ministry told Reuters that “previous participation in the 16+1 format has not delivered the desired economic results.”

Relations between Lithuania and China soured after the Baltics allowed them to open de facto embassies in Taiwan late last year.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the two countries said they would continue to strive for a “constructive and pragmatic relationship with China” while respecting the rules-based international order and human rights.

The European Union, which sees China as a strategic rival in some areas, is trying to push Beijing to reform the World Trade Organization’s trade rules.

This is despite Beijing imposing sanctions on some MEPs and punishing Lithuania economically. Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia also maintain cooperation. [Reuters] Relations with China continue despite Latvia’s withdrawal

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