Politics and International Relations
This paper examines People Republic of China (PRC)’s engagements with the countries in Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, with a specific reference to the evolving Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 16+1 platform. It compares the experiences and shows differences in approaches of individual states. Five years on, the Chinese government secured the diplomatic, yet more symbolic, support from the Central European governments. However, the outcomes of promised – often unrealistic – investments are still to be seen. In some cases, the PRC is facing more domestic scrutiny in relation to real outcomes of projects or possible Chinese influence on domestic policies, in others, the terms: BRI, OBOR or New Silk Road, are rarely mentioned. In all cases, the focus is more on the bilateral relationship or collaboration within the 16+1 framework.