Lithuania has adopted a foreign policy based on “values”. A policy that I agree with and I have reiterated it in their media.
However, I warned them that such a laudable initiative must never be an instrument to go against a single country but applied tout court: if they have problems with China, well, let them come to the surface.
But raising issues of values only against China and not also with other countries, including Western countries with their shortcomings on the values and rights of citizens, diminishes the objectivity of their laudable initiative and reduces it to a simple geopolitical exploitation and as such it will be perceived, rightly, from Beijing, without therefore leading to results.
As always, it depends on what is the real goal of such utterances.
Below is my interview for Alfa on the subject
“My simple advice to Lithuanian friends would be not to fall into the trap of” value “diplomacy applied only to China: values cannot be applied only to individual countries,” says Michele Geraci, professor of economics and longtime member of the the Italian government in relations with China.
– How would you describe the current EU-China relationship?
Very critical of mutual misunderstanding. It is true that China faces some issues that are unfavorable to EU businesses, such as market entry, the principle of indifference or non-tariff barriers. But instead of negotiating and having serious arguments, and knowing that China will land, the EU raises questionable issues, which in many cases are China’s internal affairs, say, allegations about Xinjiang, where I myself have been in September and have not noticed. nothing about it. talk about the western media. China’s attack on such slippery things for no reason weakens our negotiating position and harms our companies that want to do business in China. This is a big mistake.
– How would you evaluate the intersection of Lithuania, the so-called “diplomacy of value”, with China?
I believe that the abandonment of neoclassical realism and the move to a values-based foreign policy is a major change.
– Is Lithuania’s attitude towards China linked to changes in US foreign policy?
American foreign policy is trying to cope with the fact that soon the United States will no longer be the largest economy in the world. It is difficult for our American friends to come to terms with this, especially as this title will be removed from a country with a social and political system that is absolutely different from our liberal democracies. Even more success can accompany China not only in the economy, but also in overcoming our social model. It will not be easy to solve, especially in a democratic administration. However, if Lithuania will only use this philosophy against China or any other country, then personal blows can be expected from them.
– What can be further expected from the diplomatic conflict between Lithuania and China? What could China’s next steps be?
It depends on Lithuania’s ultimate goal, which I don’t know. As I said earlier, if Lithuania takes the same strict stance with other countries that have problems with values, human rights, etc., then I think China will not consider it a personal policy against it and will help loosen relations. . I would support him a lot, because Lithuania can truly become a champion for the development of positive values around the world. As an Italian, I feel that we have contributed to the development of human rights. However, if Lithuania will only use this philosophy against China or any other country, then personal blows can be expected from them. – What impact can the Vilnius conflict have
– Beijing on EU-China relations?
EU foreign policy is ineffective because there is no clear mandate and member states want to keep full control of foreign policy. My advice in Brussels would be to strictly adhere to what is written in the Lisbon Treaty, which is the only document that empowers the EU. Going beyond what is written there, we will look like kids who want to play a game that is for the older ones of us. I therefore strongly recommend that the EU limit itself to strengthening our trade and industrial policies. We support trade, investment and the transit of goods and services. This is the mandate of the EU and it is what the EU should do if it is to serve its citizens.