Quo Vadis Cooperation Between China and Eastern Europe in the Era of COVID-19?

Emilian Kavalski

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) used to be quite buoyant about benefiting from China’s economic largesse. A little over a year ago, China’s cooperation with the region was brandished as a real feather in China’s foreign policy cap. Today, however, the China-CEE cooperation appears to be done with. This development has led many to question whether the China-CEE cooperation has become a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer provided here is: no, not at all! Most CEE states have been mulling a freeze in their participation for quite some time. In this respect, the pandemic has only accelerated the social distancing of CEE countries from China. The study suggests that the unrequited romance of China with the CEE region has important implications both for the country’s public diplomacy and the post-pandemic trajectories of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-56
Number of pages24
JournalWorld Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • BRI
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • COVID-19
  • Central Europe
  • China
  • Coronavirus
  • Eastern Europe
  • Economic Cooperation
  • Economic Relations
  • Foreign Policy
  • International Cooperation
  • Pandemic
  • Public Diplomacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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