Strategic partnerships and China’s diplomacy in Europe: Insights from Italy

Boni, Filippo (2023). Strategic partnerships and China’s diplomacy in Europe: Insights from Italy. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 25(4) pp. 740–757.



As discussions of a ‘new cold war’ between China and the West intensify, it has never been more important to understand how China engages internationally. Crucially, as of 2022, China has established 110 ‘strategic partnerships’, without stipulating any formal treaty of alliance, but we know little about strategic partnerships and how China uses them, despite their centrality as a foreign policy tool. Departing from the assumption of the state as a unitary and monolithic actor in international affairs, this article proposes a new framework of strategic partnerships which incorporates sub-state entities as well as an ideational component, highlighting the image-building purpose that these partnerships serve. Empirically, the analysis focuses on the evolution of the Sino-Italian strategic partnership, drawing on a critical discourse analysis of 1294 news articles published as part of the agreement between the Chinese and Italian news agencies Xinhua and ANSA.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions