Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Regional Studies Faculty of Law and Political Science University of Tehran

2 Graduate of European Studies, University of Tehran

10.22059/wsps.2022.337619.1277

Abstract

The sun of China’s might has cast a dragon shadow over Europe. While Chinese influence has been largely discussed—either in terms of its immediate neighbors in Asia, or in its strained but complementary relations with the US—its European vision has been kept in the dark. Considering Chinese growing involvement in international relations, this paper seeks to answer the following research question as to what Chinese engagement with Central and Eastern European countries—such as the one under China-CEEC 17+1 initiative—entails for the European security. To answer the mentioned question, we hypothesize that Chinese involvement in the region has negatively affected EU efforts to promote policy coherence and to form a common foreign and defense policy, and therefore, the EU has begun securitizing China to limit its influence in the region. Guided by these objectives, this study employs a qualitative research design using official EU and Chinese policy reports and statistics.Given the security dimension of Chinese involvement, Buzan’s regional security complex theory was adopted as the conceptual framework. The research findings suggest that China (through China-CEEC cooperation) has got direct access to sensitive-security sectors and differences over the direction of EU project have exacerbated the EU’s difficulty to mount a coherent response.

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