China’s Engagement in Central Europe: Words Speak Lauder than Actions
(Angažovanosť Číny v strednej Európe: slová hovoria hlasnejšie ako činy)
Politické vedy, Volume 25, Number 2/2022, pages 151-176
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
WAISOVÁ, Š. - CABADA, L. 2022. China’s Engagement in Central Europe: Words Speak Lauder than Actions. In Politické Vedy. Vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 151-176. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2022.25.2.151-176
Until the end of the 1980s the role of the United States (US), European Communities (EC) and China in Central Europe (CE) was marginal. However, with the end of the Cold War the situation dramatically changed. The present article collects and analyses the evidence about the rising Chinese engagement in CE, particularly in the Visegrád Group (V4) countries Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia and about its political, societal and economic effects in the region. The research is designed as a three-level analysis of Chinese activities and interests in CE: firstly, attention will be paid to individual CE countries, secondly, to V4 which is historically the longest joint political project of CE countries, and thirdly, to the impact of the situation in CE on the EU level. We found out that pro-Chinese forces recruit from the populist and anti-liberal groups, Chinese activities and influence in individual CE countries differ, even though Chinese strategies to penetrate politics and business are similar, and that China´s “words speak lauder than actions”. We conclude that even when V4 countries alone are sobering up from the ‘Chinese dream’, they use the ‘China card’ within the EU and towards EU authorities to get what they want.
Key words: Central Europe, China, engagement, V4, China´s interests