The war in Ukraine has placed China in a challenging position in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland regarding its relationship with Russia. However, it has also provided an opportunity for China to leverage the situation to promote its own narratives.
In official communications in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, China has maintained a relatively restrained approach when it comes to commenting on the conflict. Yet, Chinese state media have been actively directing propaganda toward these countries regarding the conflict, often involving local intermediaries.
The background paper ‘China’s Narratives on Russia’s War on Ukraine in Central Europe’ looks at the narratives on the war in Ukraine employed by China in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia. These Central European countries provide an interesting example as they have been on the receiving end of China’s charm offensive over the past decade, connected with China’s diplomatic initiative, the 16+1 format. China’s position on the war has further damaged China’s relations with these countries, already troubled by unmet economic expectations, security issues, ties with Taiwan, and disputes over China’s human rights record.
The policy brief is a joint work of Filip Šebok and Nikoleta Nemečkayová (AMO), Andrei Yeliseyeu (EAST Center), and Michaela Ružičková (Adapt Institute).
The paper is a part of the project “Strengthening the Resilience of Czech, Slovak and Polish Societies Prior to the 2024 European Parliament Elections” supported by the EU. You can find more information about the project on its website.
Funded by the European Union. The views and opinions expressed represent the views and opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible.