Oligarchs and Party Folks: Chinese Corrosive Capital in Slovakia and Czechia

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Despite the physical distance, China is increasingly attempting to project its power and influence policymaking in Central Europe. Even though a latecomer, it has managed to make considerable inroads into Central Europe in the past decade, especially since it initiated a platform of cooperation with Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries known as the 16+1.

While China’s relations with Slovakia and Czechia have been described quite extensively by various authors, the role of corrosive capital remains under-researched.

A new paper by Matej Šimalčík aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive account of various activities by Chinese as well as local Slovak and Czech actors linked to the influx of Chinese corrosive capital.

Based on the description of various gaps China exploits to influence governance and policymaking in Slovakia and Czechia via corrosive capital, the paper offers robust recommendations focused on businesses, NGOs and governments with the aim to tackle corrosive capital and attract constructive capital in its stead.

Oligarchs and Party Folks

Chinese Corrosive Capital in Slovakia and Czechia

The publication is supported by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). CIPE is not responsible for the content of this publication, or for any use that may be made of it. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) alone. These views do not necessarily reflect those of CIPE.

  • Matej Šimalčík is the CEIAS Executive Director. His research looks at China’s economic and political presence and ‎influence in Central Europe, elite relations as well as the role of European legal ‎instruments in dealing with China. ‎ He has a background in law (Masaryk University) and international relations (University ‎of Groningen). ‎ He is also a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of ‎Great Britain and Ireland and a contributor to the European Think-tank Network on ‎China (ETNC) and MapInfluenCE initiatives. Between April and September 2021, Matej was as a visiting EU China Policy Fellow at Mercator ‎Institute for China Studies (MERICS). ‎ Previously, he was an in-house legal counsel at the Slovak branch of Transparency ‎International, a global anti-corruption watchdog, where he focused on promoting ‎transparency and countering corruption in the judiciary, legal tools for countering ‎corruption (freedom of information laws, whistleblowing, etc.), and strategic litigation ‎in public interest cases. He also practices law in Slovakia, where he focuses mostly on ‎competition, compliance, and administrative litigation.‎