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2020.02.19 08:30

Estonian intelligence joins Lithuania in naming China 'a threat'

LRT.lt2020.02.19 08:30

Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service published its annual report on February 12, around the same time as Lithuania. Both countries name China a threat.

Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service expressed concerns about the rising influence of China, which uses investments and 5G technology to gain political influence.

The Chinese embassy in Tallinn said the Estonian report was based on a “cold war mindset,” according to the Estonian public broadcaster ERR.

Read more: Russia and China seek foothold in Lithuania via gas and tech – report

The embassy said the report “hurts the good feelings of Chinese people towards Estonia,” and requested the intelligence agency to amend the yearly report. The Estonian Foreign Ministry refused.

In Vilnius, the Chinese Embassy also called on Lithuania to abandon the “cold war mentality” after the country’s intelligence report named Beijing as a threat.

Read more: The rough face of China’s soft power in the Baltics – Investigation

Lithuania’s intelligence bodies said in the report released on February 4 that Beijing “continues malicious activity in Lithuanian cyberspace and is expanding its influence worldwide, using economic leverage to ensure other countries' support to Beijing on key political matters.”

Read more: China urges Lithuania to 'abandon Cold War mentality'

Estonian intelligence also said China aims to “impose its own worldview, build a Beijing-led international environment”.

“For example, China is attempting to reformulate the Western concept of human rights, which it reduces solely to the right to economic prosperity and a safe living environment,” the report said.

Read more: Chinese cameras banned in US monitor Lithuanian leaders – LRT Investigation

A Chinese-funded Finnish company said in July 2019 it would build the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel with three Chinese companies, according to Reuters.

The 100-kilometre tunnel connecting Finland with Estonia will cost some 15 billion euros and is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Read more: China's push for Lithuanian port poses risk to NATO