What is ‘Sinatra Doctrine’?

The Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) member countries have accepted the “Sinatra Doctrine” as a counter to the increasing China’s aggressiveness to undermine the unity of the European Union through the divide and rule policy.


The Sinatra Doctrine will be based on two pillars:

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


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 CEE members of EU. Further, the Chinese investments in 12 EU member states which were participating in “17+1 initiative” was approximately 8.6 billion euros in the year 2010 to 2019. On the other hand, the 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 Beijing, made the CEE members to adopt the Sinatra doctrine.

About Sinatra Doctrine

This doctrine was the name which the Soviet government of Mikhail Gorbachev used to describe their policy to allow the neighbouring Warsaw Pact 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.

17+1 initiative

The 17+1 initiative is also known as the “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 CEE.

CEE countries

The Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) member countries include- Bosnia, Albania, Herzegovina, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Serbia and Slovenia.


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