Latvian Foreign Minister warns of "black and white perspective" on China

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On 1 April 2019 in Palanga, Lithuania, Latvia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the 7th meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States and Nordic countries (NB8) and the Visegrád Group countries (V4).

Rinkēvičs used the occasion to call for a model of cooperation with China that acknowledged its economic importance but would not ignore "European values" and would avoid a "black and white" way of thinking, according to comments attributed to him in a ministerial release.

“The rapid growth of China’s political, economic and military weight triggers geopolitical change not only in Asia, where the traditional US dominance is increasingly being superseded by that of China, but also globally," Rinkēvičs said.

"That is why we must call on China to demonstrate responsibility that corresponds to its influence and benefits as well as urging the country to invest accordingly in ensuring the international system and to engage constructively in resolving global challenges. Regardless of differences in the European and Chinese mindset, we have found common touchpoints or common denominators on the issues such as climate change, Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan.

"Consequently, this is not about China being a threat or an opportunity, a competitor or an ally. We cannot afford a black-and-white perspective of this kind. We must find the real balance in the relationship with China so that we could protect our interests vis à vis China, whilst remaining true to European values,” Rinkēvičs pointed out.


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