This briefing paper summarizes the views and comments of participants of the ChinfluenCE international seminar held on June 6-7, 2018, in Prague, Czech Republic. The event was attended by China experts, think tankers, journalists and NGO practitioners from the Central and Eastern European countries gathered in the 16+1 Initiative, whose aim was to discuss China’s involvement, economic, political or otherwise, in each of the countries, and to help foster a region-wide debate on China’s presence and the real intent and activities of the 16+1 Initiative.
The event was organized by the Association for International Affairs (AMO), Czech Republic, together with the Central and Eastern European Center for Asian Studies (CEECAS), Hungary, and the Institute for Asian Studies (IAS), Slovakia, as a part of ChinfluenCE, an international project mapping Chinese political and economic influence in Central Europe.
Through media content analysis it studies China’s image and its perception in the region. It identifies key agenda setters who shape the discourse, and subjects them to social network analysis in order to determine their views of China, clarify their motivations and scrutinize links among them. The project contains a strong comparative element as it focuses on China’s strategy across three different countries.
The ChinfluenCE research has been supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.