ro_RO Română

China Watch

Chinese communities in Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine

The Chinese community in Romanian was, and probably still is, one of the biggest communities in Eastern Europe, second only to the one present in Hungary. Although the exact number of Chinese in Romania has always been disputed, the current official number is about 7600 legal residents,making it the third biggest immigrant community after Moldovans and Turks, although the figures given by the members of the Chinese community themselves vary between 5000 and 20000 people, not all of them legal residents.

Though China and Bulgaria have established their diplomatic relations back in 1949, their current interactions are mainly in the context of trading – import and export of goods, raw materials and culture. Compared to the neighbouring Balkan countries like Serbia or Republic of North Macedonia, direct Chinese investments in the country are almost non-existent.

The current set of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Friendship Group with China was approved on 12 October 2020; more than a year after the new Parliament had been inaugurated. This, on the one hand, demonstrated a non-priority of the Chinese direction for the members of the Verkhovna Rada, as the first organizational meeting was in March 2020. On the other hand, this parliamentary group is one of the biggest and comprises of 175 MPs (from 420 of total). There are three co-chairs: Hryhoriy Surkis, representing a pro-Russian political party “Opposition Platform – For life”, and two representatives of the presidential party “Servant of the People”, Oleksandr Trukhin and Pavlo Khalimon. Hryhoriy Surkis is an oligarch, long-time vice-president of the UEFA (2013-2019), and what has never been too much publicized, a president of the NGO “Society China-Ukraine”, that was established in 1994. The society does not have a website, but has few influential members. Pavlo Khalimon, previously has been involved in agro-business. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, he, for example, participated in the ceremony of masks transfer from the Chinese

National Corporation of Machine Industry (ССЕС) to the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine, where he talked about strategic partnership between Ukraine and China.23 Oleksandr Trukhin, a former businessman in agro-sector and chemical industry, an MP elected in majoritarian constituency in Dnipro.

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Project supported by the Black Sea Trust (BST), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States


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