Skip to main content

Karásková: “CEE countries should present Chinese partners with a unified position”

. Karásková: “CEE countries should present Chinese partners with a unified position”
­­­
­­­
­MERICS China Briefing spoke with Ivana Karásková, founder of MapInfluenCE and of China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe. In her new role as European China Policy Fellow at MERICS she talks about China’s influence in Central and Eastern Europe, the future of the 17+1 format and the impact this has on relations with the EU. 

Questions by Janet Anderson, Freelance editor 

What do Central and Eastern European countries hope to get from their relations with China? 

Exports among Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries are mostly bound to Western Europe and therefore connected to the EU single market. Following the global financial crisis, CEE has striven to diversify its export and import routes towards the East, seeking greater access to the Chinese market and attracting foreign direct investment from China. The region has utilized the 17+1 format to upgrade diplomatic contacts with the Chinese side, arguing that while Western Europe easily attracts China’s attention, CEE countries need a platform to increase their visibility. 

Are CEE countries forming a common strategy? 

The relations between CEE and China are asymmetric, with China benefiting disproportionately from this arrangement. While not all 17 CEE countries would be able to work together on a unified strategy, there is less division of interests than may appear at first glance. To be sure, Hungary and Serbia have supported China on political issues a number of times, but they represent an exception rather than the rule. To offset the asymmetry, CEE should adopt an “ACT strategy” – adapt > counter > target – making full use of the multilateral character of the platform and, where possible, presenting Chinese partners with a unified position. For starters, they can hold regular 17+0 consultation meetings preceding summits with China. If China wants to retain its presence through the platform, it is more likely to accept the “multilateral condition” than to risk losing its influence altogether.  

What are the biggest risks in this relationship, and can they be averted? 



The biggest risks lie in CEE countries accepting opaque deals offered by China and deviating from stated EU values, norms and positions. It is crucial to promote transparency in public procurements and investment deals. For the “old Europe”, especially Germany and France, it is imperative to understand that a patronizing approach to CEE countries’ foreign policy can lead to a significant backlash and, in the end, be counterproductive. 

The 17+1 framework is seen by some as a means for China to divide and conquer in Europe. How do you see it? 

The 17+1 is certainly more active than previously thought. It helped institutionalize the region and provided a structure for China to deal with CEE countries. These countries do not realize that China is in the driver's seat. It is therefore important to closely monitor the platform and find avenues for utilizing it to serve primarily European interests. 

Is the US or China seen to be a more important ally? 

With some exceptions, CEE EU members are mostly US-oriented. China does not and will not play the role of the US as a key security guarantor to the region. However, it will continue to be an economic partner



How do you see the relationships between these countries and China developing? 

Since China’s “grand entry” to the region and establishment of the 17+1 in 2012, China has largely been seen as an economic opportunity. For a minority of politicians – such as Hungary’s Orbán, Czechia’s Zeman or Serbia’s Vučić – China has also been a political inspiration. In the past two years, however, a majority of CEE countries have become disillusioned as China’s economic promises have not fully materialized and security risks associated with Chinese companies have come to the fore. The future of the relationship with China depends on whether the security community (as well as the media, civil society organizations, and some MPs – mostly from opposition parties) prevails over proponents of economic pragmatism. It also depends on the US position to China after the upcoming presidential elections


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Historical relationship between Kurd and Baloch.

The Kurds are the ethnical group living in a region known as Kurdistan which is divided into Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They  are struggling for an independent region since decades and they are famous for their female guerrilla fighters.        On 25 September 2017, the referendum for an independent Kurdish region  was held in Iraq with a turn out of 72 %.   On this important occasion, the historical relation between Kurd and Baloch people is worth discussing.       When it comes to history, every nation tends to find its roots and origin. Same goes with the Baloch people. The Baloch people are always curious  about  finding their roots in history. Even if you  talk to a shepherd in Balochistan, he will be curious to talk about his  tribal or ethnical roots.      The Balochs have always conveyed the history to the next generations in different mediums like poems etc. No Baloch before 20th century had written books on  history  or origin of the Baloch nation .
        Balochs…