This episode explores China’s approach to the Central and Eastern Europe region through its 16+1 mechanism, which brings together eleven EU member states, five Balkan countries, and China. Our guest, Dr. Justyna Szczudlik, explains China’s political and economic goals in the region and describes the major outcomes of the recent 16+1 Summit in Bulgaria. She also examines the appeal of the Belt and Road Initiative to different European countries and analyzes the potential effects of China’s “one size fits all” approach to the various 16+1 participants.
Justyna Szczudlik is Head of the Asia-Pacific Programme and a China analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM). She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Warsaw, MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Warsaw, and MA in Political Science from the University of Wroclaw. Dr. Szczudlik’s research focuses on China’s foreign policy, especially China-Central and Eastern Europe relations including China-Poland relations.