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...

Learn the Rules to Master the Game: Chinese Infrastructure Investments in the Balkans

With activities ranging from hastily assembled initiatives to holistic market assessments, Chinese companies are getting their foot in the door to the Balkans-with clear intentions of leaving a lasting footprint in the region’s infrastructure market. However, it...

In Serbia, the Chinese Trojan Horse Tactic Works – For Now

Speaking in July 2018, then European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hanh referred to Balkan countries that were the recipients of Chinese infrastructure financing, like Serbia and Montenegro, as China’s potential Trojan horses among future EU members. The...

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed – Belgrade Leans Closer to Beijing...

As Serbia fights the coronavirus outbreak it is once again looking to China for support. Coupled with the indignation with the EU’s response, Serbia seems to be moving even closer to Beijing’s orbit. However, none of the...

Facing the China Challenge in the Balkans

For years, concerns in Brussels and Western European capitals about the security of southeastern Europe have centered on the threat posed by Putin’s Russia. But behind these fears the question of China looms large. Russia’s...