War in Ukraine Brings Belgrade Closer to Beijing

This article is part of an exclusive new series from CHOICE focusing on China as a topic in elections across Central and Eastern Europe. Russian aggression in Ukraine is not only a defining moment...

In Serbia, Private Interest Becomes National Interest

Protests in Serbia are provoking rarely seen responses from the government in Belgrade. Faced with widespread unrest and demonstrations in the streets, the Serbian government recently withdrew Draft Amendments to the Law on Expropriation. This marked only...

Major Chinese Investment in Serbia Mired By Worker Abuse Controversy 

Vietnamese workers employed by the Chinese firm Linglong Tire in Serbia were living in conditions that have understandably shocked onlookers. Accommodated in old, rusty barracks, not outfitted for a chilly Balkan winter, the employees...

A Coal-Free Future Leaves China’s Engagement in the Balkans Uncertain

There might not be a better moment for the transformation of China's relationship with the Western Balkans than now. With Xi Jinping's pledge that China will no longer fund the construction of coal-fired power plants overseas, a...

It’s Smooth Sailing for Sinopharm in Serbia

Chinese vaccine manufacturer Sinopharm does not exactly have a stellar market reputation these days. The two Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac have both been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use,...

China’s Economic Influence Impacts Governance and Climate Policy in CEE

Long-lingering concerns about Chinese influence at the EU’s doorstep have recently become a harsh reality.  Montenegro has become a symbol of the debt problems  developing countries can fall into by signing on to a...

Serbia Turns Multi-Vector Foreign Policy into Development Model… With China’s Help

Few people following international affairs will have missed the now infamous photo of the Serbian President, Alexander Vucic, kissing the Chinese flag at Belgrade Airport a year ago. In the global scramble for protective equipment and masks,...

Big Brother: Serbia’s Media Are Creating Nation of China Lovers

This story was originally published by BIRN’s English language website Balkan Insight. Close connections with the Serbian political elite and the favourable presentation of China in Serbian media, especially from outlets close to the...

Chinese Vaccine Diplomacy Reigns Supreme in Serbia

This article was originally published in The Diplomat and is republished here with the permission of the author. When a plane carrying a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the Chinese company Sinopharm landed...

China Goes Granular: Beijing’s Multi-Level Approach to the Western Balkans

This article was originally published by the European Council on Foreign Relations and is republished here with the permission of the authors. The morning of September 9 began mundanely enough in Skopje, the capital...

Serbia’s Balancing Act on China

In early September, the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić sat next to his US counterpart Donald Trump and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti in the Oval Office to announce the restoration of economic ties with Kosovo. Although...

China, Pandemic and the Western Balkans – Lessons for the EU?

When announcing the state of emergency in Serbia on March 15 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić declared the notion of European solidarity non-existent, “a fairy tale on a paper”, while praising China...