China’s Comeback in Former Eastern Europe

Rudolf Fürst and Filip Tesař are editors of a new book "China’s Comeback in Former Eastern Europe: No Longer Comrades, Not Yet Strategic Partners".



The process of post-communist transformation in the former Eastern Europe as well as in China definitely ended the quasi-ideological ties between the two sides that were based in their previously existing non-coherent and doctrinaire “comradeship”, and eventually opened up for them a new postideological era of more truly defined relations which lie primarily in national material interests. The growing mutual economic relevance of the two sides has been the common ground for the building of the new post-communist ties between China and the CEE countries, and the later emerging political dimension of the ties followed as a secondary effect of and also as a reaction to the EU’s eastern expansion.

China's dialogue with the seeming “B-grade group” of the 16 postcommunist states inside the EU perhaps cannot evolve into the kind of sophisticated sectoral dialogue with China that already exists on the EU-PRC partnership level; but still, their new 1+16 format for better ties with China is a new opportunity. In China the European post-communist transformation was under-researched and ideologized, and thus, the diversity and value of the non-western European regions may receive a new review and a new appreciation from China.

Rudolf Fürst is the IIR researcher and among his areas of interest are EU-Chinese relations, relations of Central and Eastern Europe with China and postcommunist transformation in Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia.

Filip Tesař is the IIR Associate Research Fellow with focus on the Balkan area.

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