THE ROLE AND INFLUENCE OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ON VISEGRAD GROUP COUNTRIES. The aim of the project is to monitor the activities of the PRC in relation to the V4 countries – Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Slovakia. The project is funded by the International Visegrad Fund.
Date: 17 February 2022 Author: Patryk Szczotka
Polish President Andrzej Duda Met with Chinese Leader Xi Jinping in Beijing
President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda attended the opening ceremony of the 24th Olympic Winter Games in Beijing on February 4, 2022. The highlight of the Polish President’s three-day visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Sunday, February 6.
The two leaders discussed expanding trade in agricultural products and increasing the number of investments between the two countries.[i] President Xi Jinping announced the PRC’s readiness to support the development of logistics infrastructure in Poland.[ii] According to the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, President Andrzej Duda discussed the matter of security in Eastern Europe with his Chinese counterpart, devoting special attention to the recent actions of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.[iii] The meeting of the presidents does not herald a breakthrough in economic relations between Poland and China. Moreover, it seems unlikely that the position of the Polish president will significantly influence the security in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Certainly, the Chinese authorities value good relations with the Russian Federation more than those with the countries of the CEE region.[iv]
Two representatives of the Polish administration made a comment about the meeting of the two leaders. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Zbigniew Rau stated in a press release that the meeting was primarily an occasion to celebrate the sporting event, while political matters remained secondary.[v] In an interview for Reuters, presidential adviser Jakub Kumoch said that although Poland is a US ally, it also has very friendly relations with the PRC.[vi] In turn, the Associated Press cited Kumoch’s words that Poland wants the best possible relations with China and this desire is reciprocal.[vii] These statements do not constitute a considerable change in Poland’s foreign policy, but they do indicate that Polish authorities may be treating the PRC a bit more leniently than during Donald Trump’s presidency. Back then, they clearly stood on the American side in the geopolitical conflict between the US and China. The fact that President Duda was one of the few leaders to attend the Games also suggests such change of views. Many Western leaders boycotted the event, accusing the Chinese government of human rights violations.[viii]
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This article is a part of the project “The Role and Influence of the People’s Republic of China on Visegrad Group Countries” funded by the International Visegrad Fund.
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