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Lithuania quits China’s 17+1 cooperation forum

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Lithuania quits China’s 17+1 cooperation forum:


Context:

Lithuania has quit China’s 17+1 cooperation forum with central and eastern European states that includes other EU members.

Why?

Lithuania has called it “divisive”. It has also urged fellow EU members to pursue “a much more effective 27+1 approach and communication with China.”

What is the “17+1” initiative?

The 17+1 initiative is a China-led format founded in 2012 in Budapest with an aim to expand cooperation between Beijing and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) member countries, with investments and trade for the development of the CEE region.

  • The framework also focuses on infrastructure projects such as bridges, motorways, railway lines and modernisation of ports in the member states.
  • The platform is largely seen as an extension of China’s flagship Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
  • China’s narrative towards the 17+1 initiative is about improving its relations with the European countries that are less developed as compared to the Western European states.

Composition:

The initiative includes twelve EU member states and five Balkan states — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are Baltic nations?
  2. About the “17+1” initiative.

Sources: the Hindu.