Date: 2 June 2022 Author: Finn-Ole Albers
The “17+1” format – threats and opportunities for the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic
On May 31, our Warsaw Institute expert Wojciech Adamczyk attended a online seminar organized by European Values Center, based in the Czech Republic, about the threats and opportunities of China’s “17+1” format. Together with him were Marcin Jerzewski and David Plasek, both from the European Values Center. The event is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic under the project “Polish-Czech Forum”.
The “17+1” format is a Chinese initiative launched in 2012 aimed at engaging 17 Central and Eastern European countries in terms of mutual business and Chinese investments.
Wojciech Adamczyk remarked, that looking to the miserable situation of human rights in China and the ongoing war in Ukraine the Central Eastern European states are becoming more and more critical in regard to the format. Thanks to its central geographic position, Poland had the potential to be a hub for trade between Europe and Asia. Although Poland’s aspirations were quite high, the future of the initiative depended on the future Chinese commitment to investments in Central and Eastern Europe.
Marcin Jerzewski critically stated, that although the format is framed as a multilateral framework, it was a highly competitive and bilateral framework in reality. There was little satisfaction about the poor economic results, the format so far delivered. On of the most visible indicators was the departure of Lithuania in 2022 from the format.
Due to the last general elections in Czechia, the Covid pandemic and a general feeling of disappointment about just small-scaled Chinese investments, Czechia became far less supportive for cooperation with China in the format, David Plasek stated.
The project is financed in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland under the title “Polish-Czech Forum”.
The entire recording is available here:
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