China’s Diplomatic Tensions with Former Soviet Republics Raises Concerns in the EU

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, has affirmed that China respects the status of the former Soviet republics as sovereign countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[0] The statement was made in response to comments by China's ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, who said in a televised interview that former Soviet countries don’t have “effective status in international law”.[1] The remarks have caused diplomatic consternation, especially in the Baltic states.[2] Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia summoned their Chinese ambassadors in response, asking for clarification, while officials from Ukraine, Moldova, and the European Union all criticized the comments.[3] EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, also said that the bloc would “reassess and recalibrate our strategy towards China” following the remarks.[4] This incident highlights a growing concern within the EU about China's international aspirations and its hard-line approach to diplomacy.

0. “China Says It Respects Ex-Soviet States' Independence” TIME, 24 Apr. 2023,

1. “Ukraine slams China envoy’s ‘absurd’ remarks on ex-Soviet nations” Al Jazeera English, 23 Apr. 2023,

2. “Chinese ambassador sparks European outrage over suggestion former Soviet states don't exist” CNN, 24 Apr. 2023,

3. “Former Soviet Union nations have no legal status – Chinese ambassador” The Jerusalem Post, 24 Apr. 2023,

4. “China distances itself from envoy comments after EU outrage” DW (English), 24 Apr. 2023,

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