European public opinion has greatly soured on China, for reasons known to all: Xinjiang, Hong Kong, military posturing or violence against several Asian neighbors, the denial of responsibility on Covid-19 and a crude "mask diplomacy".
Where they do not go is as notable as where they do go: not one Central and East European country is included, confirming that the 16 + 1 process isn’t as substantial for China. Only Greece, the recent 17th member, gets a visit. Wang and Yang avoided the capitals where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went recently (Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia). They also skipped the United Kingdom, once China’s partner for a "Golden Era" of relations: the criticism by the UK government on issues such as Hong Kong and its decisions on 5G rankles, but in general, Beijing has not been very forthcoming to London since Brexit. And most of all, the Chinese envoys did not visit Brussels or meet with a single EU leader, such as Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who is their most obvious counterpart.