Eastern Europe has been left home alone. While Brussels, Paris and Berlin bounce from one crisis summit to the next, tackling every issue imaginable, from Greek bank recapitalization to terrorism to the unbroken march of refugees into Europe, the leaders of Western Europe seem unconcerned with their immediate eastern neighbors.
Filling this void is a country that physically could not be further away, but has come to stand by their side: China.
While Europe is ready to burst under the pressure, Beijing is organizing this week a summit for 16 Eastern European states – and every country is participating. They could have said, “Not now. Let’s postpone the summit. All hell is breaking loose in Europe.” Beijing would have understood.
But they have decided to forge ahead, with a list of attendees that includes the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, and the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, who is already talking about “closing the lead Germany, France and Great Britain have in relations with China.”
What is more important is what he left out of that statement; namely, that Beijing is the key player that will help reduce this lead.