Mask Diplomacy in Minor Key

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


"29 April 2020."--Title page. As Europe struggles with an existential crisis brought on by Covid-19, the complexities of its relations with China are on full display. While the crisis itself is unprecedented in many ways, it is also the first time that China has figured so prominently on an issue of such immediately critical importance to European citizens, governments, and the European project more broadly. As such, China has become a conspicuous part of public and policy debates around Covid-19 across much of the continent. The way that relations with China evolve over the course of the current crisis, and the debate around these relations, will more than likely have a lasting effect on the Europe-China relationship, long after the crisis has subsided. To begin to understand the dynamics at play, the chapters in this report provide country-specific analysis on these shifting relations within the context of Covid-19. They also seek to provide some indication of the broader impact on bilateral relations and their trajectories. Introduction, China as partner, competitor and rival amid COVID-19. -- Austria, a non-confrontational road to European economic sovereignty? -- Bulgaria, Limited independence on medical supplies from China, but proactive in Chinese public diplomacy. -- Czechia, COVID-19 puts China at centre of increasingly divisive national debate. -- France, Between healthcare cooperation and political tensions with China amid COVID-19. -- Germany, COVID-19 a catalyst for current trends in relations with China. -- Greece, Close - and primarily commercial - cooperation between Greece and China. -- Hungary, Business as usual with China amid COVID-19. -- Italy, Cooperation, competition and local politics amid COVID-19. -- Latvia, Mask diplomacy in minor key. -- Netherlands, Tough questions, stronger answers in the face of COVID-19 and a more audacious China. -- Norway, Crisis highlights normality in bilateral relations with China. -- Poland, Mutual "charm offensive" with China amid COVID-19. -- Portugal, "Everything is worthwhile, if the soul is not small" - relations with China amid COVID-19. -- Romania, China's actions amid COVID-19 generate contradictory opinions. -- Slovakia, changing views of China during the COVID-19 pandemic. -- Spain, a necessary partnership with China in battling COVID-19. -- Sweden, not quite friends in need with China amid the COVID-19 crisis. -- Switzerland, COVID-19 has not altered limited China policy debate. -- United Kingdom, Sharpening the China debate amid COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCovid-19 and Europe-China Relations
Subtitle of host publicationa country level analysis : European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), special report - 29 April 2020
EditorsJohn Seaman
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherFrench Institute of International Relations
ISBN (Electronic)9791037301642
ISBN (Print)9791037301642
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEuropean Think-tank Network on China (ETNC)


  • Europe, China,
  • Covid-19, policy

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 3.2. Articles or chapters in other proceedings other than those included in 3.1., with an ISBN or ISSN code


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