The main purpose of this paper is to explore the objectives and possible consequences of the Chinese investments in Portugal in the last decade. Are they business as usual in a globalized economy, or something else inside a broad political strategy? Trying to answer this question, the approach will be made both through the lens economic diplomacy and the geopolitical analysis. The research will be developed throughout several points: firstly, the Chinese model of socialist market economy within a global environment configured by liberal ideas; secondly, the main characteristics of China’s economic diplomacy model, one where the economic and the political are closely intertwined; thirdly, a focus on the economic attractiveness that China exerts upon Portugal, having the investment in the Portuguese energy sector as a case in point; and finally, some conclusions about the possible consequences for Portugal economic and strategic dependence on China in a world where the USA–China rivalry is growing.
China Portugal Economic diplomacy Globalization Foreign direct investment Geopolitics
Cite this article as:
Fernandes, José Pedro Teixeira, International Politics, nº 58, 18–36 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-020-00218-8