In Europe the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) builds its connections through the “united front work”, which aims to spot influencers in Europe who are supportive to China. China friendship organisations like the EU China Friendship Group are nurturing the friendship between Chinese and Europeans. In Africa a real alternative diplomatic channel has been created between China and Africa. This African model (see below) might also increase its influence in Europe: Belgium, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Spain and the Czech Republic all have communist parties with representatives in the European Parliament.
“The Communist Party of China (CPC) has established official contacts with more than 110 political parties in 51 African countries” according to a brief about China-Africa relations (you can read it here: http://focac.org.cn/focacdakar/eng/pthd_1/202111/t20211129_10458125.htm). It was published on the occasion of the start of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar. FOCAC now has 55 members comprising China, the 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, and the AU Commission. It is a two days conference held once once every three years.
Over the past years, African political parties have actively participated in the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting and the thematic forum on people-to-people connectivity of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, among other exchange events. Sixty-nine political parties in 42 African countries issued a joint statement with the CPC, calling on political parties across the world to join together in fighting COVID-19. Political parties and political organizations in Africa – including more than 80 African state and political party leaders – delivered 220 telegrams and letters of congratulation to the CPC when the latter celebrated the centennial of its founding. Heads of state or government from eight African countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Republic of the Congo, Namibia, South Sudan, Morocco and Mauritius – attended the CPC and World Political Parties Summit via video link.
If you want to read more about it: https://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/V19i3-4a6.pdf by Lina Benabdallah “Power or Influence? Making sense of China’s evolving Party-to-Party Diplomacy in Africa” October 2020.