In the wake of the Eurozone crisis and the “Brexit” challenge, while China has been reconfirming its strategic partnership with EU, its recent diplomatic and economic initiatives have been increasingly directed to the periphery zones. This is evidenced by the “16+1” (China-CEEC) cooperation - a critical component of the Belt and Road Initiative and a pragmatic cooperation plan to meet the development demands in regional context. We suggest that this decentralized approach of cooperation is largely a pragmatic response to the new realities of post-crisis EU as well as China’s domestic development, which brings about new opportunities and perceived functional necessity for flexible engagement.
Prof. Dr. Chunrong LIU: Associate professor at School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. He is executive director of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies at University of Copenhagen and a researcher at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies. His research interests are in the areas of political sociology, comparative politics and regional cooperation. He has published widely on China’s state-society relations and he is currently working on a project on China-Nordic cooperation.