Members of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson and Sven Mikser, who are currently visiting China as part of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegation, met with the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Fu Ying in Beijing on Wednesday.
22 members of parliament from 12 NATO states took part in the meeting and discussed topical foreign policy issues, ranging from the Chinese attitude towards the NATO to cyber security.
„Mrs Fu, who used to be the Chinese ambassador to London, did not hide the fact that NATO is still officially ill-regarded by Beijing. At the same time, the Assistant Minister seemed to be a diplomat well versed in her subject and answered questions with openness and directness,“ said the head of the Estonian NATO PA delegation Marko Mihkelson.
He stressed that this was the first ever visit of the NATO Assembly Political Committee to China. „Despite the somewhat awkward meetings, which occasionally took part in an openly distrustful atmosphere, the visit is sure to have contributed to furthering possible dialogue between China and the NATO. Ever more so because China has been participating more actively in the anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden,” Mihkelson said.
In addition to the Assistant Foreign Minister, the MPs also met with the Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee Yu Hongjun, Senior Colonel of the Chinese Ministry of Defence Zhou Bo, the German Ambassador to China Michael Schaefer, and security experts in Beijing and Shanghai. NATO Assembly delegates also visited the 6th Armoured Division of the Chinese Liberation Army near Beijing.
The Riigikogu Press Service
15 September 2011