How effective is China’s twiplomacy in the global social media sphere? Studying the Twitter and Weibo accounts of five Chinese embassies in Europe revealed confusion and few coherent strategies.
As many countries struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, China supposedly has the virus under control. However, the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan was a different story; one that revealed the weaknesses of the seemingly effective authoritarian power.
For a number of years, China seemed to be making inroads in Central and Eastern Europe, even drawing participation in an informal grouping of CEE nations. Lately, though, it seems that CEE states are fed up with unfulfilled promises, aggressive diplomacy and illiberal behavior.
Despite Joe Biden's election as US president, tensions and intense rivalry between the US and China are likely to persist in the coming years. Given this environment, what are the prospects for Europe as it seeks to uphold the multilateral, rules-based system?
French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken of "boldness," "risk-taking" and the upholding of Enlightenment values as essential to foreign policy. But far from boldness, the current strategy toward China in Paris seems one of avoiding offense at all cost.