China in the Western Balkans


As the flame of civic protest spreads across the Balkans and opposition parties radicalise their efforts to dislodge sitting governments, the new edition of the Western Balkans Stability Monitor brings you in-depth analysis of the dynamics driving (in)stability, as well as our own foresight into where events are heading.

Our China in the Western Balkans quarterly monitor is a new product which BIRN Consultancy, part of the BIRN Network, is happy to offer to clients with an interest in China’s growing presence in the region.

China’s presence in the Balkans has expanded rapidly over the last decade. Beijing has done its best to find ways to integrate the region into its global Belt and Road initiative. It also appears to view the region, the EU’s ‘soft underbelly’, as a springboard into the EU. Most recently, the coronavirus pandemic has forced countries in the region to reach out to China for assistance, in the same way that some EU countries have – grudgingly – done.

Our China in the Western Balkans quarterly monitor analyses China’s evolving relationship with the countries of the Western Balkans. We will follow major projects financed through Chinese loans and implemented by Chinese companies. At the same time, we will also monitor Beijing’s attempts to deepen political and diplomatic relations – an area in which it has made unequal inroads – as well as expand its soft power.

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We invite you to read the first report available on this page for free, which sets the ‘baseline’ for China’s activities in the region. Future issues of the China in the Western Balkans quarterly monitor will be available as standalone issues via BIRN Consultancy website and as a part of BI Premium Plus subscription. For more information, please contact [email protected]