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China’s Influence In Eastern Europe Weakens

May 25th, 2021 13:28

Ger­man media is report­ing on China’s weak­en­ing influ­ence in East­ern Europe, argu­ing that with Sino-Amer­i­can ten­sions ris­ing, Chi­nese activ­i­ties in the region are being increas­ing­ly restrict­ed. Accord­ing to an Inter­na­tion­al Pol­i­tics and Soci­ety report:

May 5, 2021 The activ­i­ties of Chi­nese investors are increas­ing­ly being restrict­ed in CEE coun­tries. For instance, in May 2020, Roma­nia can­celled a deal with Chi­na to build two new nuclear reac­tors in Cer­navo­da. Fol­low­ing Washington’s lead, Poland, the Czech Repub­lic, Roma­nia, and Esto­nia all plan to restrict Huawei’s oper­a­tions in their respec­tive coun­tries. The region is also voic­ing stronger crit­i­cism of China’s pol­i­cy on nation­al minori­ties, Hong Kong and human rights in gen­er­al.  Ukraine’s deci­sion regard­ing the nation­al­i­sa­tion of the Motor Sich Joint Stock Com­pa­ny can be con­sid­ered in keep­ing with the over­all region­al trend. […] The Euro­pean mar­ket is cer­tain­ly of great inter­est to Chi­na, and the coun­tries of Cen­tral Asia and East­ern Europe are impor­tant as routes and cor­ri­dors. But in the chang­ing geopo­lit­i­cal real­i­ties, the price of polit­i­cal issues is dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­ing — includ­ing the very issues which Chi­na is doing its best not to raise or even is try­ing to ignore.

Read the rest here.

Inter­na­tion­al Pol­i­tics and Soci­ety is an online jour­nal launched by Germany’s Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a polit­i­cal foun­da­tion affil­i­at­ed with Germany’s Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

Con­trary to this view, we report­ed last week that Chi­na is expand­ing its influ­ence in East­ern Europe using Hun­gar­i­an and Ser­bian uni­ver­si­ties. Oth­er recent GIOR report­ing on China’s influ­ence oper­a­tions in East­ern Europe has included:

  • In May, we rec­om­mend­ed a study assess­ing China’s soft pow­er in 17 Euro­pean coun­tries, includ­ing Hun­gary, the Czech Repub­lic, Slo­va­kia, and Romania.
  • In May, we report­ed that Chi­na is laun­der­ing its pro­pa­gan­da in the Czech Repub­lic through local ‘alter­na­tive media’ dis­in­for­ma­tion outlets.
  • In April, we report­ed that even though most of Europe has blocked Huawei’s abil­i­ty to build 5G infra­struc­ture, China’s influ­ence in Europe is still increas­ing through aca­d­e­m­ic partnerships.