S tudy - The People’s Republic of China:
12 June 2023
The launching of the ‘Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries’ (CEE-China) initiative i n 2012 reflects the extent of t he CCP’s interest i n the region and the energy it is p repared to i nject into i ts diplomatic and e conomic agenda. [...] 20 A lthough Austria’s membership to t he EU, particularly t he participation in the EU’s C ommon Foreign and S ecurity Policy ( CFSP), u shered i n a de facto change to the country’s neutrality policy, especially the understanding of n eutrality prevalent during the Cold War, the r elevance and s pecific i mplications of A ustria’s neutrality are r arely the o bject of i ntense public debate. [...] However, despite this promise, n o significant deepening of ties has occurred between t he two countries, highlighted by t he fact t hat n o representative o f the g overnment attended the commemoratory event for the 100th anniversary o f the C CP in S ofia, with only the justice minister of t he t hen c aretaker government s ending a c ongratulatory statement to the event. [...] And this looks unlikely to occur in the future, as the hardening of the EU’s stance towards the PRC in response to revelations of h umanitarian abuse by the CCP a nd the Covid-19 pandemic constrains Sofia’s decision making. [...] The 20th Party Congress received coverage, where the further concentration of power by X i over the CCP and the CCP i tself over t he Chinese s tate was explained in the context of Yugoslavia a nd the Soviet Union’s demise.