In October, the CHOICE project, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, hosted a closed working breakfast in Prague with CHOICE Visiting Fellow and Program Coordinator of the Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society Stefan Vladislavljev on the issue of Chinese influence in the Western Balkans.
Over the past decade, China has emerged as one of the key external players in the Western Balkans. This is particularly evident in the case of Serbia, which has fostered a “steel friendship” with Beijing, supported by a strong political relationship and mutual interests, along with increasing Chinese investments in the country.
The conversation with Stefan focused on several key aspects of Chinese influence in the region, including the impact of cooperation with China on principles of good governance, compliance with environmental standards, public procurement, labor practices, and other standards, as well as the foreign policy decisions of Western Balkan countries. The event was moderated by Petr Čermák, Research Fellow at AMO.
As part of his fellowship, Stefan is researching the impact of cooperation with China on the future of Serbia’s European integration. During his visit to Prague, he met with relevant stakeholders from both state institutions and the think tank community, and he also gave interviews to local media outlets.