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Lithuania minister urges EU countries to leave China's '17+1' bloc

Top diplomat on mission to find trading partners to replace Beijing

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis spoke with Nikkei Asia in Tokyo on June 7.  (Photo by Masayuki Terasawa)

TOKYO -- Lithuania's foreign minister urged other Eastern European nations to follow his country's lead and withdraw from China's "17+1" economic cooperation bloc with the region.

Gabrielius Landsbergis told Nikkei Asia in an interview on Tuesday in Tokyo that the framework, which Beijing values as a cornerstone of its Belt and Road Initiative influence in the region, has not been beneficial for its members. Lithuania left the bloc in May 2021.

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