Beyond the ‘China threat’: Chinese investments in Eastern Europe and the reorganisation of global capitalism

14 October 2021

This is the second webinar of a four part series called 30 years into the ‘transition’: East European New Left Perspectives. This second webinar explored Eastern Europe's entanglement into Chinese capital.

14 October 2021
18:00 CET

Since the early 2010s there has been an unprecedented rise in Chinese investments in Europe. Although the lion’s share of Chinese FDI goes to Western Europe, Chinese investments and political-economic engagement in Eastern Europe has attracted the most attention. Mainstream accounts have depicted East European peripheries as China’s “Trojan horse”, a fertile ground for China’s “authoritarian advance” and “divide and rule” strategies that could lead to new fissures within Europe and geopolitical dependence.

Based on case studies of Chinese investments in Hungary and Serbia, this panel discussion will look behind the “China threat” narrative, and attempt to contextualize Chinese investments in Eastern Europe as part of a broader global reorganization of capitalism and corresponding shifts in hegemonic power. We will ask how Eastern Europe-China relations impact on local accumulation regimes, how Chinese investments can be understood as part of global finance- and infrastructure-led development, and whether we can conceive China as an imperialist power.


  • Linda Szabó (CEU, Budapest)
  • Aleksandar Matković (Institute for Economic Sciences, Belgrade)
  • Tamás Gerőcs (University of Binghamton)

Lela Rekhviashvili, Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig