At a meeting between State Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andris Pelšs, and new Ambassador of China to Latvia, Liang Jianquan, it was confirmed that at the CEEC (Central and Eastern European countries) – China High-level Conference on Tourism Cooperation (in the Chinese-led 17+1 format) to be held in Riga from 22 to 24 October, China will be represented by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Luu Shugang.
During his visit, the Minister will also open a Center of Chinese Culture, the first Chinese cultural centre in the Baltic States.
Chinese cultural programs in the region were and the subject of a recent story by the Re:Baltica investigative journalism outfit. More recently a state-owned Chinese newspaper expressed a rather low opinion of the Baltic states following protests in Hong Kong that were inspired by the Baltic Way protest of 30 years ago.
On 18 September, the new ambassador of the single-party superpower presented his credentials to the President of Latvia, Egils Levits.
As previously reported by LSM, a high-profile meeting of the China-led format took place in Rīga back in 2016 and the occasion was used to announce the founding of a Chinese investment vehicle called the "SINO-CEEF Holding Company Limited" with much fanfare - though little has been heard about it since.
Since then the 16+1 format has become the 17+1 format with the addition of Greece alongside Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.