China’s President Xi Jinping visited Prague. What does it mean for Czech Republic?

Chinese President Xi Jinping just visited Czech Republic. Prague and Beijing also signed a document on strategic partnership. If we are talking a bit more in general what can a relatively small country like Czech Republic expect from China and would you say that could be any reason why Czech Rep. should be careful or worried about deepening partnership with China? Read few comments.

David Goodman, Professor and Head of Department China Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou

Of course the obvious point of the visit is strategic. Politically to develop relations with less hostile European governments, economically to lead to investment, which not only has economic spinoff, but also strategic value.
Economic integration brings many things closer. Just look at Australia.

Would the Czech government or Czech people need to be wary of China’s economic expansionism? More than anyone else’s economic expansionism ? Well, I guess the answer to that is more of the strategic considerations.
China’s GDP per capita (PPP) is about US$9000. Given its impact now, what will its world presence be when it is four, five or six times that. If I were a Czech student I’d be learning Chinese and coming here to visit and develop relations now. Of course, the USA will have similar influence for a long time to come, but the new economic and strategic relations are around China.

Is there a possible downside? Of course. China currently prefers less direct interference in European affairs.
But closer economic integration with China will mean greater interdependency and certain expectations from the Chinese side. The Czech’s may not wish to follow the example of the UK government, but then there will be other costs. In a world of globalisation led by the USA and China one cannot have one’s cake and eat it.

Jane Duckett, Professor, Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research, University of Glasgow

Of course China is now increasing its outward investment and so there may be some opportunities for Czech Republic to benefit from this. The UK government has been keen to encourage such investment from China. I don’t think there is a need to ‘worry’ about deepening the partnership — my understanding is that the economic partnership is probably less well developed than China’s relations with some other European states. I think the Scottish government (I.e. Another small state) has found economic trade and investment partnerships with China to bring benefits for. Of course it may not be a good idea to be too reliant on any one market for goods — I think the Scottish whisky industry has seen its exports to China slow recently.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for this blog post regarding Jinping’s visit to the Czech Republic; I really enjoyed it and am definitely recommending this blog to my friends and family. I’m a 15 year old with a blog on finance and economics at shreysfinanceblog.com, and would really appreciate it if you could read and comment on some of my articles, and perhaps follow, reblog and share some of my posts on social media. Thanks again for this fantastic post.

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