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China and Central & Eastern European (CEE) 17+1 mechanism

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

China and Central & Eastern European (CEE) 17+1 mechanism:


Lithuania has justified it’s decision to pull out of the China and Central & Eastern European (CEE) 17+1 mechanism, which is seen as a pro-China grouping of countries within the EU. It has also denied that the decision came because of U.S. pressure.

What was the main trigger for this decision?

  1. The ‘17 plus one’ format became a divisive forum; it was supposed to act as Europe’s one strong voice.
  2. Tensions between China and Lithuania have been building up over a number of issues: Lithuania’s new ties with Taiwan, its Parliament’s resolution on Uighurs, and then Chinese sanctions on Lithuanian and EU politicians.
  3. China has also decided to impose entry bans and sanctions against some European politicians and academics, and that has had an impact on EU-China relations.

What is the “17+1” initiative?

The 17+1 initiative is a China-led format founded in 2012 in Budapest with an aim to expand cooperation between Beijing and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) member countries, with investments and trade for the development of the CEE region.

  • The framework also focuses on infrastructure projects such as bridges, motorways, railway lines and modernisation of ports in the member states.

What’s in it for China?

China’s narrative towards the 17+1 initiative is about improving its relations with the European countries that are less developed as compared to the Western European states.


The initiative includes twelve EU member states and five Balkan states — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.


Insta Curious:

Related reading of China’s Policy:

  1. Do you know China’s One Country Two Systems Policy? Read Here
  2. Do you think One Country Two Systems policy to be a possible solution for the Israel-Palestine Conflict?

Here have a quick look at important institutions under the European Union: Read here



Prelims Link:

  1. What are Baltic nations?
  2. About the European Union.
  3. What is CEE 17+1 mechanism?
  4. About Belt and Road Initiative.
  5. Countries in Eurozone vs EU.

Mains Link:

How China is marking its presence in and around Asia? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.