The end of China’s romance with Central and Eastern Europe

Emilian Kavalski

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The 2016 Mandopop hit ‘Prague square’ ushered in a new romance for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in China. Such infatuation has resonated not only in popular culture, but was mirrored in China’s newfound boldness on the international stage. Drawing on CEE media accounts, the article demonstrates that China’s romance with the CEE countries was never reciprocated. In fact, the CEE region might present a significant outlier in that media accounts of China have been consistently negative in the decade preceding the Covid-19 pandemic. In other words, the pandemic merely accelerated trends that were already set in motion prior to 2020. In this respect, CEE media accounts of both China and the Covid-19 pandemic reveal an interesting ‘localization of the other’. As such, China has been used to validate specific domestic positions of different political formations. Perceptions of China (what it is assumed to stands for) have been deployed domestically in the CEE region to justify particular visions of the state and its international identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-99
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal Media and China
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • 17+1
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Covid-19
  • localization
  • representation of China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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