China has increased its investment and influence in Central-Eastern European (CEE) countries through the “16 + 1” framework in 2011 and the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiatives in 2013. Given China’s rising influence, this paper explores civilian views of China in the Czech Republic. Using survey analysis of 663 respondents in 11 Czech universities, we find that our respondents’ impression of China is neither negative nor positive. By contrast, they do not have a good impression of Russia. Their impression of Japan is the best. Our respondents recognize that China is the most influential player in Asia. Albeit divided, there is a tendency for respondents to believe that China will surpass the USA as the world’s leading power, but they cannot reach consensus on whether such development will be peaceful or not. Our survey also finds out that, while the Czech government wishes to get closer to China politically and economically, citizens are somewhat divided on various dimensions of issues concerning China. This is a pattern that continues from the past. The 2013 change of political landscape in the Czech Republic does not seem to have altered many of the societal responses to China.
Fields of Science
- 517 Political science