China in Central Europe

Seeking Allies, Creating Tensions

Gabriela Pleschová ,

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China in Central Europe: Seeking Allies, Creating Tensions

About the eBook

This book explores China’s policy towards the European Union, using the case study of four member states from Central Europe: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. Gabriela Pleschová documents China’s strategic approach to engaging with these countries bilaterally and multilaterally, through intensified diplomatic and soft-power campaigns, upgrading them to strategic partners, offering loans and promising investments.

China in Central Europe outlines how this particular approach has proven to be ineffective. Despite the allocation of significant resources to the development of relations with Central Europe, Pleschová argues that there is limited enthusiasm for China outside of a narrow circle of policy makers and business people who profit from engagement with China. Instead, Chinese influence has stirred criticism and created tensions among other groups, such as between Czech politicians and the local expert community on China, or among Hungarian citizens distrustful of their own government. Pleschová further argues that China has not impacted how Central Europe’s representatives vote in the European Parliament and that support from some elites in Central Europe does not translate into wider backing for China in the EU. China can influence Central European countries’ policy to some extent; however, if a fundamental issue arises, countries harden their position towards Beijing.

Utilizing social science concepts to explain the puzzles from China–Central Europe relations, this book will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of international relations, Chinese studies, EU politics, and international law, as well as political and social scientists more generally. It will also be useful for professionals engaged in foreign policy decision-making.

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