Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries

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Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (China-CEE, China-CEEC, also 17+1) is a Chinese government's (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)[1] initiative to promote business and investment relations between China and 17 countries of CEE (CEEC)Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The China-CEE secretariat is in Beijing, with 17 "national coordinators" in each of the partner CEE country.[2]

The 17+1 meet annually; summits were held in Dubrovnik (2019), Sofia (2018), Budapest (2017), Riga (2016), Suzhou (2015), Belgrade (2014), Bucharest (2013) and Warsaw (2012).

Founded in 2012 in Budapest to push for cooperation of the "17+1" (the 17 CEE countries and China) and promoting the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative – to "provide promising opportunities for both China and Europe ... covering the fields of infrastructure, transportation and logistics, trade and investment (a.o. in infrastructure projects carried out by Chinese companies, financed by Chinese loans[3]), local exchanges and energy, among others".[4]

This includes (as of 2017) Serbia’s E763 Highway project, the Budapest-Belgrade railway and the China-Europe land-sea express line. In Croatia, a contract to build the first phase of the Peljesac bridge and its access roads, signed by a Chinese consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). In Poland, the acquisitions of Huta Stalowa Wola civil engineering machinery division and KFLT Bearings Poland by Chinese companies. According to China Customs’ statistics, China’s trade volume with CEEC totaled $67.98 billion in 2017, a 15.9 percent increase compared to that of 2016.[4] According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in 2016 China-CEE trade increased to $58.7 billion (from $43.9 billion in 2010), while its investment in CEE countries has accumulated to more than $8 billion, covering industries such as machinery, chemical, telecom and new energy.[3]

These goals are supported by "growing ties in the areas of culture, education and tourism ... cultural exchanges, think tanks and NGOs."[4]

From 2012 to 2017 six new direct flight routes between China and CEEC has been opened, the number of Chinese tourists visiting CEEC increased from 280,000 to 930,000, and the number of exchange students doubled as well[provide figures]. A China-CEEC Coordination Center for Cultural Cooperation was opened in North Macedonia. In China, the China-CEEC training center for young artists and China-CEEC Cultural and Creative Industries Exchanges and Cooperation Center were opened in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

See also[edit]



  • China's Relations with Central and Eastern Europe: From "Old Comrades" to New Partners, Edited by Weiqing Song, Routledge, October 2017
  • Central and Eastern Europe as a New Frontier of China’s Multilateral Diplomacy, Guest Editor: Dragan Pavlićević, Global China and Symbolic Power: The Case of 16 + 1 Cooperation, by Anastas Vangeli, Journal of Contemporary China, 11 April 11, 2018,
  • China's Engagement with the Sixteen Countries of Central, East and Southeast Europe under the Belt and Road Initiative, by Anastas Vangeli, 19 September 19, 2017,, in: China & World Economy, Volume 25, Issue 5, Special Issue: Eurasian Perspectives on China's Belt and Road Initiative, September–October 2017, Pages 101-124
  • The New Silk Road: China Meets Europe in the Baltic Sea Region – A Business Perspective, Edited by Jean-Paul Larçon (HEC Paris, France), World Scientific, July 2017

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