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The Emerging Chinese Geopolitical Initiatives – Should Europe be Scared?

Chinese foreign policy in Europe has always been complex and multifaceted, maintaining a gradual pace and waiting for its momentum of a greater push that appears to have arrived recently. What is even more important is that when it comes to Europe, Chinese foreign strategy has escaped the aggressive and imperialistic niche that has been a symbol of other large nations in their quest for influence and power and has focused predominantly on partnering initiatives such as the Belt and Road and 17+1 formats (also 16+1 but today known as 14+1 after the exit of several states). These initiatives have represented the main foreign policy vehicle through which China has promoted its political stances. Chinese soft diplomacy has been exercised worldwide, however in the past couple of years, the Chinese sphere of interest has gained an impetus in Europe, although for many years the Asian superpower has worked slowly towards increasing its diplomatic, economic and political presence among European governments. The Chinese agenda in Europe which can be characterized as a strategy of cooperation and creation of key alliances, has ultimately led to complete political reliance on many European nations for Chinese products and other services.

Throughout the years, European statesmen have downplayed the economic role and vast influence China has played on the continent, thus allowing Chinese policies to further pass along in many European sectors, alongside state owned Chinese companies who have taken over key European landmarks and businesses in their control.

Additionally, China has made enormous efforts to form connections and foster extremely close relationships with vast European governments, directly gaining support from key stakeholders such as Prime Ministers, Presidents and entire political parties in power, as a direct pathway to exercising more political influence in key decision-making processes. This type of economic foreign diplomacy and conquering through the veil of partnership, is what makes China a subtle however extremely relevant political player that is becoming ever more present on the local European political scene.

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ARTICLE | 23 PAGES

The Emerging Chinese
Geopolitical Initiatives
– Should Europe be Scared?

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