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Estonian, Chinese FMs discuss cooperation, cybersecurity, human rights

Eva-Maria Liimets.
Eva-Maria Liimets. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Estonian and Chinese foreign ministers discussed the UN Security Council, cybersecurity and human rights in a virtual meeting on Monday. Liimets also expressed solidarity with Lithuania.

The ministers Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) and Wang Yi emphasized the countries' work on the United Nations Security Council, of which China is a permanent member and Estonia's non-permanent two-year term ended in December, especially on Afghanistan and cybersecurity.

A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the two ministers acknowledged the countries' joint relations which have grown steadily over the past 30 years.

Liimets said Estonia is ready to move forward with cooperation in the trade of agricultural products.

It was said Estonian-Chinese relations are part of the relations between the EU and China ministers hoped for a successful EU-China Summit in March. Liimets emphasized Estonia prefers to cooperate within the 27+1 format, meaning China and all EU countries rather than the 16+1 format or bilaterally.

The Estonian foreign minister also raised the issue of human rights and said no concessions can be made. She said dialogue is needed between China and the EU and international organizations on this issue.

Liimets also expressed solidarity with Lithuania, which has seen its relations with China sour after allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius last year. Estonia has previously called China's pressure on Lithuania "unacceptable".

The mouthpiece of the Chinese regime "The Global Times" on Tuesday wrote the meeting up in an article headlined "Wang Yi talks with Estonian FM; 'mutual benefits and diplomatic autonomy' may offset irrationality like Lithuania", trying to play the countries off against each other.

The ministers also hoped to meet on reciprocal visits. However, they will not meet at the upcoming winter Olympics in Beijing as it was announced on Monday that Estonian politicians would be boycotting the event.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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