Daily: China using influence in Estonia, Baltics

China and Estonia have signed a memorandum of understanding on food safety. June 19, 2019.
China and Estonia have signed a memorandum of understanding on food safety. June 19, 2019. Source: Ministry of Agriculture

Daily newspaper Postimees is running a series of articles about Baltic-China relations, a collaboration between journalists in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which look at how China interacts with the region and how it uses its influence in each of the three countries.

The first article in the series, published on Wednesday, explored how China tries to puts pressure on Estonian politicians when it comes to relations with Taiwan and Tibet with Postimees reporting that diplomats based at the Chinese embassy in Estonia have told members of the Estonian government of their "strong displeasure" that they have met with members of the Tibetan and Taiwanese governments, which the Chinese do not recognise as autonomous.

The article gave two examples, but said more had also taken place, the first of Chairman of the Riigikogu Tibetan support group Yoko Alender (Reform) being warned not to go to Riga to attend a meeting in May with the Tibetan parliament and government in exile, and the second concerning Urmas Paet (Reform) visiting Taiwan as a member of an EU delegation trip in 2018.

Both times the Chinese ambassador to Estonia protested to the foreign ministry expressing displeasure at the meetings, and Postimees reports that similar incidents have also occurred in Latvia and Lithuania.  

The first article in the series can be read here, and also examines market access for Estonian companies in China and Confucius Institutes in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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