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Title: Estonia and China: Changing role, Perceptions, and Security Implications
Authors: Mikelsaar, Anniki
University of Oxford
Keywords: China-Estonia Relations;Diplomacy;Chinese Influence in Estonia;National Security;Cybersecurity;NATO;Bilateral trade;Perceptions of China in Estonia
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Rīga Stradiņš University
Citation: Mikelsaar, A. (2022). Estonia and China: Changing role, Perceptions, and Security Implications. In Andžāns, M., and Bērziņa-Čerenkova, U. A. (Eds.), China in the Baltic States – from a Cause of Hope to Anxiety (pp. 6–31). Rīga Stradiņš University.
Abstract: The chapter gives an overview of the changing Sino-Estonian relations from the consolidation of diplomatic ties in 1991 until the present. It examines the security implications these ties have started to pose for Estonia and NATO, while underlining the relative insignificance of the bilateral China-Estonia financial and trade ties. Analysing public opinion polls, this chapter outlines the risk that perceptions of China may become increasingly divergent between Estonian and non-Estonian speakers, with the former perceiving China as more of a threat than the latter. This might translate into a future security implication from the standpoint of domestic cohesiveness. Taking into account imminent risks, including Chinese surveillance technology on Estonia’s border crossings, and dubious infrastructure projects still in air, such as the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel in the Gulf of Finland, the suggestion is made for the Estonian government to start formulating its independent China strategy, to map out the remaining areas for cooperation, and draw the boundaries where collaboration can no longer take place.
Description: This publication results from the project “China's Role and Perception in the Baltic States: Implications for National Security and NATO” (NATO Public Diplomacy Division's Co-Sponsorship Grant)
ISBN: 978-9934-618-15-4
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