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China-CEE Relations: The Future of the 16+1 Platform

Foreign policy, Security and Defence
Date: Friday, 02 March 2018 10:30 - 12:00

Venue: Asia Platform  |  City: Bruxelles, Belgium

A Talk By

Dr Richard TURCSANYI, Associate Researcher, European Institute for Asian Studies; Associate Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations, Prague

Moderator: Mr Alberto Turkstra, Programme Coordinator European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)

Launched first in 2012, the “16+1” Cooperation Framework includes 16 countries in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. This regional approach brings together a very diverse group of from the Baltics to the Balkans. Even from the beginning of the 16+1 process in 2011-12, Brussels has voiced concerns about the initiative as affecting the unity of the EU, undermining high-level standards, and exercising negative influence over EU Members and potential members’ strategic choices. These were fueled by the somewhat opaque organization and non-transparent nature of the unusual cooperation. Yet since 2013 the situation had calmed down a bit, partly due to the regular presence of European External Action Service (EEAS) officials at the official meetings of the platform and their involvement in drafting the documents.

However, contrary to what China appears to claim and Western Europe seems to take for granted, the economic presence of China in CEE is very limited and has not seen any significant growth in the past five years. This has been shown by various media, but so far this has had little impact on the general perception of the issue, which sees China as a major player in the region. Although these voices seem to suggest that the role of the Western Europe in CEE is declining and China’s is growing, the reality is that Chinese economic presence in the region is minimal from the perspective of both FDI and CEE exports, and little has changed in these regards since the founding of the 16+1 platform. What, then, is the future of the 16+1 platform?

Dr. Richard Q. Turcsányi is an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague. Besides, he is also an Assistant Professor at Mendel University in Brno and the Director of Strategic Policy Institute in Bratislava. In the past he conducted long-term study and research stays at the University of Toronto, Peking University, National Chengchi University in Taipei and European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels. He specializes in Chinese foreign policy, China’s power and China’s relations with Central Europe. His research has appeared for example in Journal of Chinese Political Science, Energy Policy, Czech Journal of Political Science, Springer, and Brill.

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  • Friday, 02 March 2018 10:30 - 12:00

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