After entering into an investment agreement with the European Union (EU), China has now succeeded in resuming its summit with Eastern and Central European countries. The newspaper South China Morning Post has told in a special news that Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a summit in early February with these countries called ’17 +1′.
This conversation will take place through video link. It remained deadlocked for the first year. Analysts have said that the resumption of this summit also indicates that China’s relations with Europe have gained new momentum.
According to experts, 17 Central European countries have agreed to abandon their objections and start talks with China after a comprehensive investment agreement was agreed with the EU last month. Diplomats say China has proposed new proposals to resume talks. Diplomats say China wants to push it further by maintaining a positive phase in relations with Europe.
Some analysts say that China wants to send another message to the US elected President Joe Biden’s administration that it has developed close ties with Europe. It is a common belief that during the tenure of Donald Trump, America ignored European countries, which forced the small countries, especially the Chinese, to go to China.
According to the news of the South China Morning Post, the summit will take place on February 12, before China’s new year begins. More information on what will be the agenda of the talks has not been available yet. Diplomats told this newspaper that the agenda was being finalized right now. Earlier both sides used to issue guidelines for infrastructure projects and cultural exchanges every year. It may resume with this dialogue.
The summit was last held in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik in April 2019. This was the eighth dialogue after the formation of the 17 + 1 group in 2012. But after that conversation, there was a doubt in European countries that China is following the policy of divide and rule. Because of this, the communication of the two sides stopped in a way. In an effort to revive it, China increased the status of interaction with this group. Previously there was a general representative appointment for this dialogue. But last year, Chinese Premier Li Kichiang was appointed as the representative of China. 13 countries from the 17 + 1 group are also members of the EU.
Last year China expressed its desire that the President or Prime Minister of the 17 + 1 group join the talks. But the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Ziman, turned down the invitation. He alleged that China has not kept its promise to invest more in their country. After that, the issue of Taiwan also increased tension in the Czech Republic and China relations. China again offered to hold these summits in December. But even then he did not succeed.
Experts say that after that China first made it a priority to enter into an investment agreement with the EU. It was finalized on 30 December. After that, it was not in his interest to keep 17 + 1 countries away from China. That is why they have agreed to resume the summit.