ANNA SHPAKOVSKAYA is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She spent 10 years in China and holds BA and MA degrees from Shanghai University. She received her PhD from the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2017 and since then worked in several international research projects. In 2021 Anna spent one year as Deputy Professor at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. Most recently Anna is engaged in research on EU-China partnership, Belt and Road Initiative and urban diplomacy. She regularly gives lectures on China’s politics and International Relations in Germany and France.