The intensity of cooperation between China and Russia has increased and its sources diversified, in particular the Russian facilities for China to reach places near the areas with Russian influence, especially in (the Eurasian region with a view to the countries of Eastern Europe and the three Baltic countries). and their ports). This prompted NATO Secretary General “Stoltenberg” to make an official statement in which he reiterated the following:
“Our NATO forces are alternately present in the Baltic Sea, in Poland and in Romania, and we have new methods of intervention. In the event of a crisis, reinforcements from new units can be quickly delivered to the site, and NATO will be “vigilant” with regard to Belarus, as it is a friendly country with Russia and challenges three NATO member states (Poland, Latvia and Lithuania ) “
Through Stoltenberg’s declaration in his military role as NATO secretary, we understand the sensitivity of the Eastern European region, especially (the Baltic Sea ports) of the three bordering countries: “Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania” and perhaps this clearly lets us understand that (approaching the hardliner -State of Lithuania from the Baltic States to China), which coincided with the release of “NATO”, in which he emphasized his ability to protect his allies from the Baltic States and Eastern Europe and their ports against any kind of threat from Minsk , Moscow or China. Therefore, we understand the developments in China’s relations with this region through Russia’s support as follows:
China, with the help of Russia, tried to participate in a (joint naval maneuver in the Baltic Sea region), so Russia managed to open the doors for China to increase its presence in the north of the European continent, which created new burdens on the US administration and send strong messages to Washington to (stop provoking China and try to besiege its influence in Asia and the Pacific). China has thus become a new policy (as a reaction to the American engagement in Southeast Asia by strengthening its sea power), which through the Russian gateway is more closely integrated into the regional policy of Europe, Western Asia and the Baltic States.
For the first time since July 2017, Moscow and China began preparing (for the first phase) the joint naval exercises in the Baltic Sea region, which were called “Nautical Cooperation-2017”. Then (the second phase) of these exercises began in the region (Sea of Japan and Okhotsk) in mid-September 2017. With the successive warnings from the US and the military to NATO, the defense ministries of Russia and China confirmed that these exercises are a normal tradition aimed at “strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership in Russian-Chinese relations” and for no one party Pose a threat.
These joint training plans between China and Russia have aroused many reactions and fears in many NATO military states, especially since China is taking part in the Baltic Sea for the first time. The Polish Defense Minister (Anthony Macherewicz) accused both Russia and China (their strategic alliance poses a threat to the free world). In the same context, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister (Linas Linkavivicius) spoke of the danger of these exercises, which represent a “challenge for NATO in the Baltic Sea”, and stressed that “these maneuvers are now at the gates of Europe”.
These joint maneuvers between China and Russia in the Baltic Sea could carry a political message to both the “American government and NATO”, according to which: “Russia and China support and protect one another”. However, China’s willingness to demonstrate its naval forces in the Baltic Sea may indicate two things:
The first thing: it relates to (China’s long-term geopolitical plans, which Europe has become its core). It appears here that Chinese plans are aimed at being present in the Atlantic and Baltic regions in response to the US presence at the heart of its Asian influence.
The second thing: also indicates that (Beijing intends to implement these plans with the participation of Russia), Russia also wants to secure China’s aid in the Far East, especially in the “Sea of Japan”, because of the Japanese -Russian dispute over the “Kuril” -Islands ”, so he is understood under the pretext of the presence of American warships there, as a right to safeguard the interests of his Asian allies, which could lead to a permanent inflammation of the Asian region.
Despite the intensity of the joint Sino-Russian military and naval presence in the ports and countries of the Baltic Sea, rapprochement between the Baltic countries and China is expected, especially after the signing of more than twenty bilateral investment agreements between the member states of the European Union with China ), this Euro-Chinese agreement, will inevitably reduce the level of security fears and doubts and increase political pressure on the Baltic countries for fear of dealing with the Beijing government.
In general, there is a (growing tendency of pragmatic-economic populism in the Baltic states and the European Union) that sees the need for cooperation with China in all economic areas permitted by international relations, which provide scope for free economic cooperation between the Baltic countries and China in the future.
The Baltic countries participated in the diplomatic mission (at a lower level than the heads of state only at the ministerial level) on the (17 + 1 summit) chaired by Chinese President “Xi Jinping” on cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe part of European countries. The initiative (17 + 1) was founded in 2012 in the Hungarian capital “Budapest” with the aim of expanding economic cooperation between Beijing and the member states of Central and Eastern Europe.
The general framework of the (17 + 1) initiative between China and Central and Eastern Europe including the Baltic states focuses on infrastructure projects, such as: (Bridges, motorways, railways and ports modernization) in the Member States. The “17 + 1 Initiative” includes around (twelve member states of the European Union, including “Balkans, Baltic States, Eastern European countries”).
China is cooperating with a large number of Balkan, Baltic and Central and Eastern European countries as part of the “17 + 1 Initiative”. China sees the “17 + 1 Initiative” – largely – as an extension of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative countries cooperating with China can be divided into as follows:
The most prominent (Balkan states) with which China works within the framework of the “17 + 1 Initiative” include:
(Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania)
The most prominent (Eastern European countries) of the “17 + 1 Initiative”, which cooperates with China, include: (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia)
While the (Baltic States) in the “17 + 1 Initiative”, which cooperates with China, are: (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
Here (the diplomatic representation below the level of the heads of state of the Baltic states in the 17 + 1 summit initiative) indicates a remarkable shift in the political position of the Baltic states to be more concerned with China, and we note that (the trends the public opinion in the Baltic countries in 2021 welcomed the Baltic citizens in economic cooperation with China), as the majority of the citizens of the Baltic States do not see that Beijing is endangering the influence of Brussels.
As for the (position of the governments in the Baltic countries on dealing with China), we note that (Lithuania is the toughest stance against the Chinese side) and Lithuania’s toughest stance against China in relation to the (Lithuanian request from the World Health Organization “WHO” to invite Taiwan to a meeting to discuss the response to the global epidemic, but Beijing prevented Taiwan from attending).
On the other hand, (Latvia and Estonia) are looking for ways to deal with China (either bilaterally or side by side with the European Union) and at the same time try to ensure their national security in particular with what the “secret service” announced. State of Latvia in May 2020 in its annual report on national security, emphasizing:
“China poses a cyber threat and it is necessary to stay as far away from the effects of the Sino-US-European conflicts as possible without burning the bridges between Latvia with either of them.”
Newspapers in the Baltic countries have sometimes been keen to report on visits to China or vice versa, or to publish positive articles about China, which can be summed up in (an important phrase with dangerous and far-reaching connotations): “China has communists, but it is not communism “
The tendencies of public opinion of the Baltic countries towards China are evident in (the possibility of economic cooperation with Beijing, with the need to be non-geopolitical between the Baltic countries and China), while at the same time emphasizing the need for the Baltic external political and diplomatic dependence more on (European Union countries). And Russia as part of the security system, borders and geopolitics of the Baltic States, as well as the cooperation of the Baltic States with the United States of America as (leader of NATO and its members), especially in the areas of politics, diplomacy, security and aspects of defense.
Through this point (the Chinese presence in the Baltic Sea countries and ports with the help of its ally Russia and the protest from Washington and NATO security), the Egyptian researcher has adopted Russian policy for the Chinese agenda. reaches Eastern Europe and the three Baltic States, that is: “Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania” and even encouraging. It is the result of increasing US interference in Russian and Chinese affairs. And we think that the goal of Russia and China through the maneuvers of “Nautical Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region 2017” looks for the first time as if they want it (to show that they are ready to defend their national interests against NATO and the United States), whether in the European West or in the Asian Far East (Sea of Japan, Okhotsk and Kuril Islands).
My personal analysis is that the new Chinese presence in the region of the “ports of the Baltic states and in the Eurasian area” is being sought with Russian help (China consciously wants to increase the strain and pressure on American influence in the Eurasian area). Region, Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, Crimea and the Eurasian Belt). With the aim (to occupy the United States of America and keep it away from the “Indian and Pacific Oceans, the South and East China Seas, Southeast Asia”), which are all major areas that fall at the core of the Chinese sphere of influence in the first place .