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The 17+1 flop THREAD

Yesterday’s #China-#CEEC summit was an embarrassment for #Beijing and, to a large extent, a waste of time for Europeans. Nearly a decade after this format was put in place with a lot of fanfare, it’s worth looking back and reflecting what went wrong.
There are five flawed assumptions the 16+1 format (17+1 since 2019) was based on.

1. #CEECs’ expectations that #China would be THE source of #FDI capital and a market for their #exports.
The reality:
- 🇨🇳 loans for 🇨🇳 contractors vs limited FDI;
- Growing #trade deficits.

2. Conspicuous discrepancy between the - supposedly - regional nature of the format and #China's preference for bilateral relations. The #WesternBalkans were “more equal” than others, which led to disenchantment and frustration in #EU member states in #CentralEasternEurope.
Read 7 tweets
A story American press hasn't reported on yet, so I'll do the honors. In @Lithuania, Chinese tourists desecrated pro-Hong Kong crosses placed at Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai—a holy site for Christians there. More at @resurgent from yours truly…
@Lithuania @resurgent What's the significance of this story in #HongKong struggle for freedom? On 30th anniversary of #BalticWay in August, Hong Kong demonstrators recreated their own human freedom chain in a nod to 2M Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians who formed human chain for freedom vs USSR
@Lithuania @resurgent Fun fact: Lithuania was the first occupied country (of 15 nations) to break away from the USSR. "The Rainy Country" - where my family also hails from - serves as a hopeful example of freedom in present day for countries struggling to regain autonomy. Why Hong Kongers visited.
Read 4 tweets

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