PRAGUE -- Chinese President Xi Jinping recently decided to personally host April's 17+1 summit -- a cooperation initiative between Beijing and 17 states in Central and Eastern Europe. While his presence would ordinarily be seen as a sign of the venture's significance and vitality, China's relations with its European partners are not prospering so well.
The annual summit was begun in 2012 to promote China's relations with Europe and extend its signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Along with China, it now includes 12 nations in the EU and five outside. Southern Europe's Greece also joined last year when Premier Li Keqiang was host.