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Sino-Polish Relations Revisited: Andrzej Duda’s Trip to China

Image source: Andrzej Hrechorowicz/Wikimedia Commons

Polish President Duda visited China on a trip reminiscent of the heyday of bilateral relations.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has just returned from a long five-day state visit to China, where he travelled to Beijing, Shanghai, and Dalian. In the capital, he met with China’s leader Xi Jinping, prime minister Li Qiang, and chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhao Leji. In Dalian, he took part in the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum, while in Shanghai, he attended the Sino-Polish business forum, gave a talk at the prestigious Fudan University, and attended meetings with Chipolbrok (Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company) and the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS).

As a result of Duda’s trip, Poland and China signed five agreements: on the work plan for the designation of zones and regionalization in relation to avian influenza (to secure more market access for Polish poultry), on the promotion of bilateral trade, on the promotion of two-way investment cooperation, and on inspection and quarantine requirements for beans export from Poland.

A cultural project intended to publish a new Chinese-Polish and Polish-Chinese dictionary was publicized. Action Plan on Strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Between the Republic of Poland and the People’s Republic of China for 2024-2027 was also published. Moreover, Beijing announced that it would implement a 15-day unilateral visa-free policy for Polish citizens – a move in line with similar arrangements made earlier between China and many other European countries.

Duda Time Travelling back to 2015

Duda, a figure associated with the conservative right in Poland, has over the years consistently built his image as a China-friendly political figure. He likes to present himself as a “friend” of Xi Jinping – a view officially reiterated by Duda during the trip – highlighting what he seems to perceive as his unique relationship with China’s top leader.

Duda’s presidency has been marked by numerous attempts to strengthen Warsaw’s relations with Beijing. In 2015, Duda travelled to China, followed by Xi Jinping’s trip to Poland in 2016, when the two countries elevated their ties to the level of strategic comprehensive partnership.

A now iconic picture of Duda and Xi eating apples was taken during that trip – an image that at the time symbolized Poland’s ambitions to export apples to China against the backdrop of Russia’s embargo on the import of Polish agricultural products, imposed in the context of Moscow’s occupation of Crimea.

Written by

Alicja Bachulska


Dr. Alicja Bachulska is a Research Fellow at CHOICE and Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations where she focuses on Chinese foreign policy and China-EU relations.