tirsdag 18. desember 2018

Sino-Swedish relations: The ambitious ambassador

Around the world, Chinese embassies are growing increasingly active and assertive. However, in few places is this as obvious as in Sweden, where the ambitious ambassador Gui Congyou assumed his post in August last year. The appointment might have been confusing for some. Not long after his arrival in Stockholm, Gui told Chinese-language media that he had never been to Sweden before, and never had any Swedish friends in the past.

A quick look at his background – and Gui’s lack of experience with western democracies generally – is striking. In 1991, Gui started his career at the Central Policy Research Office, an institution within the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Central Committee responsible for drafting its ideology and political theories. There, he primarily did research on the collapse of communism in the former Yugoslavia. Gui’s focus on Eastern Europe and Central Asia continued, as he was posted to the Chinese Embassy in Moscow for over a decade. In 2014, Gui also expressed his support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.