Belt and Road Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe: Different Responses

Kotan, Özge
The 16+1 cooperation, initiated in 2012 and retroactively assigned the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) label, has provided a unique regional instance to expand China's influence in sixteen Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Due to China's investments in CEE countries, the region has been receiving more and more strategic focus. Indeed, the evolution of the BRI had an impact on the EU's stance towards China, leading them to recognize China as a "systemic rival". The aftermath of the 2008 crisis created an advantageous environment for China in the region. China briefly emerged as a promising alternative for CEE countries that had been economically reliant on Western economies. As the BRI reaches its 10th anniversary, while some CEE countries are still committed to the BRI, the eagerness of most of the CEE countries to involve in the BRI is progressively turning into frustration. Accordingly, the objective of this thesis is to focus on the responses of CEE countries toward the BRI and, in order to understand the reasons for the variation of responses, examine the specific cases of Hungary and the Czech Republic by exploring motivations, strategies, and outcomes of their engagement with the BRI.
Citation Formats
Ö. Kotan, “Belt and Road Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe: Different Responses,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.