Thursday, October 28, 2021

Moldova’s first female president changes stance on China, breaking long tradition

Moldova’s first female president, Mia Sandu, broke a longstanding custom by not honoring the Chinese ambassador to Moldova at the end of her term. Analysts say this is a sign that Moldova is changing its long-standing pro-China position.

49-year-old Sandu took office on December 20, 2020, becoming the first female President of Moldova in the 2020 presidential election defeating former President of Moldova and leader of the Socialist Party of Moldova Igor Dodan. Moldova is a post-Soviet state in Eastern Europe with a population of 4.02 million. It declared independence on 27 August 1991.

On 20 September, a Russian state-owned news agency, Sputnik, reported that Dodan disclosed that Sandu had not honored the Chinese ambassador to Moldova, Zhang Yinghong, who had recently finished his term.

Dodon said Sandu’s actions were provocative towards China, especially in recent months, paying respect to the United States, the European Union and France. Dodan described China as a strategic partner of Moldova and accused Sandu of “insulting” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to the official website of the Chinese embassy in Moldova, on September 17, Zhang bid farewell to Moldova’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister Nicolae Popescu, but Sandu was not present.

Sandu graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova in 1994 and received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2010. From June 2010 to July 2012, he served as an advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington. From July 2012 to July 2015, he served as the Minister of Education of Moldova and from June to November 2019 as Prime Minister before his presidency.

On 27 August this year, on the 30th anniversary of Moldova’s independence, Sandu called on all citizens that Moldova would take concrete steps to integrate into Europe and gain a foothold in the European Union (EU). Sandu is the first Moldova leader to openly state his pro-EU stance and vision of entering the European Union, which he has done since 2016.

Moldova’s long pro-communist history

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Moldova and the CCP established diplomatic relations on January 30, 1992. Since then, the two sides have cooperated frequently in the political and economic fields and exchanged visits frequently.

In September 2009, the CCP established its first Confucius Institute in Moldova. Confucian institutions are commonly regarded as a way for Beijing to spread propaganda under the guise of teaching, interfere with free speech on campuses, and even spy on students. An investigative report released in 2007 by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service stated that the CCP tried to use its soft power to the Confucius Institute.

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In September 2013, after CCP leader Xi Jinping launched the “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)” for the first time, Moldova and six other countries in Europe and Asia signed an agreement on co-creation of the BRI in cooperation with China’s Ministry of Commerce. signed the memorandum. .

Moldova had long relied on Russia and actively supported the policies of the CCP. For example, in May 2010, under the intervention of the CCP, the National Theater of Opera and Ballet canceled two performances of Shen Yun Performing Arts.

On the morning of May 25, 2010, local time, the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts troupe and orchestra arrived outside the National Theater of Opera and Ballet in Moldova as scheduled, preparing to enter the theater to prepare for a 7 p.m. performance. Was doing. , NTD reported. However, the theater door was locked, and the theater staff waited outside the door for more than 5 hours, but the theater office and the local government refused to answer.

The theater manager revealed to the public on May 24, 2010 that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Chinese Embassy in Moldova exerted tremendous pressure on the Moldovan government to cancel the two Shen Yun performances.

Moldova’s move was criticized by the US State Department’s 2010 International Religious Freedom Report. The report stated that although the Moldovan theater signed a performance contract with the Falun Dafa Association on January 20, 2010, the theater succumbed to pressure from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Popov to cancel the scheduled performance. Gave. Popov said the demonstration could have damaged diplomatic relations with the CCP.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts became the world’s leading classical Chinese dance company within just a dozen years, reviving an ancient art form that had been lost under Communist rule in China. In 2006, artists from around the world, including some who escaped persecution in China, came together in New York to form an art company to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization and present true traditional Chinese culture to the world. The Chinese regime has long interfered with performances around the world since Shen Yun began touring, attempting to discredit the company and pressure theaters and governments to cancel shows.

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Winnie Han is currently engaged in reporting Chinese news for The Epoch Times.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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