The Central and Eastern Europe member nations have accepted the “Sinatra Doctrine” as a counter to the increasing China’s influence to undermine the unity of the EU through the divide and rule policy.

The Sinatra Doctrine will be based on two pillars:

  1. Continuing cooperation with the People’s Republic of China with respect to address the global challenges like covid-19, climate change & regional conflicts and
  2. To Strengthening the strategic sovereignty of EU by protecting the technological sectors of its economy.


The Chinese policy to undermine the European unity was fuelled by leveraging the regional platform in order to get the political favours in the exchange for economic benefits. However, the credit-based offer of China in a neo-colonial fashion was ill-suited for Central and Eastern Europe members of European Union. Further, the Chinese investments in 12 European Union member countries which were participating in “17+1 initiative” was approximately 8.6 billion euros in 2010 to 2019. On the flip side, Chinese investment in Finland for the same period was 12 billion euros and in Netherlands it was 10.2 billion euros. Thus, this mismatch between the economic promises and outcome by the China, made the Central and Eastern Europe members to adopt the Sinatra doctrine.

Sinatra Doctrine

The Sinatra doctrine was the name which the Soviet government of Mikhail Gorbachev used to describe their policy to allow the neighbouring Warsaw Pact, 1955 states to determine their internal affairs. The name was taken from the song “My Way” which was popularized by Frank Sinatra. The implementation of the doctrine was part of doctrine of new political thinking by Gorbachev.

About 17+1 initiative

The 17+1 initiative or “Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries”. It is an initiative by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The initiative promotes the business and investment relations between China and 17 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe countries

  • Bosnia
  • Albania
  • Croatia
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia
  • the Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Herzegovina
  • Greece
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Serbia and
  • Slovenia