China’s bid for international leadership in Central and Eastern Europe: role conflict and policy responses


China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) have intensified their cooperation over the past decade or so. Despite some modest progress, this cooperation has performed below the expectations of the CEECs in general, and, even more so, generated negative feedback and implications more widely.

This article explores the relations between China and Central East European (CEE) states through the role theory approach. Presumed China’s leadership role meets significant challenges and discrepancies. Furthermore, China’s leadership aspirations meet challenges from outward stakeholders, mainly the European Union and the United States.