comment 11 Jan 18

China’s Stealthy Advance in Balkans Should Worry EU

While Europe focuses on the threat of Russian penetration in Eastern Europe, it is neglecting the subtler dangers than come from China’s growing influence in the region.

Vesko Garcevic
BIRN
Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Serbia in 2016. Photo Beta.

The region is still unaware of potential risks of dealing with China. Hence, it’s not whether or not to do business with China; the question is how to make yourself able to negotiate a fair deal.

When EU officials, including foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, refer to the Balkans as a new “chessboard where the big power game can be played”, Russia, not China, seems to be on their mind.

But, whether or not they wish to recognize it, China is becoming a powerful player in the strategic chess game in the Balkans.

Beijing’s “One Belt One Road” policy is already affecting the Balkans, and its presence is visible in almost every corner of the region.

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