The three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia historically have very little experience when it comes to China. Positioned too far away to matter to the Republic of China in the interwar period during their first independence, being on the sidelines of the PRC-USSR relations in the 50s, and rendered unnoticeable by the bitter Sino-Soviet split that followed, the Baltic states re-emerged on the Chinese agenda only in 1991.
Since then, however, the positioning of China vis-a-vis the Baltic States has been full of exciting developments, such as the PRC-Taiwan standoff of 1992-1994, passions around EU accession in 2004, and China’s inventive cooperation formats since 2011. The Baltic countries are learning fast, as the Chinese presence in the region is increasing along all axes, except, perhaps, the most desirable one — economy.
The talk aims at explaining the reasons behind China’s emerging interest in the Baltics, analyzing the prospects of Sino-Baltic relations, and outlining the implications for the European Union and the US.
About the speaker:
Dr. Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova is a political scientist, China scholar, Head of Riga Stradins University China Studies Centre and Head of the New Silk Road program at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. She defended her doctoral dissertation on traditional Chinese discourse in Hu Jintao's report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Dr. Bērziņa-Čerenkova has studied at Beijing Language University, Beijing Normal University et.al., and spent two semesters as a Senior visiting research scholar at Fudan University School of Philosophy, Shanghai. She publishes on PRC political discourse, contemporary Chinese ideology, EU-China relations, as well as Belt and Road and other transcontinental interconnectivity initiatives. (Photo courtesy of Wuer Photography)