The Diplomat (2024)

Since China unveiled its plans to include Eastern Europe in the Belt and Road Initiative in 2014, the Western Balkans have become a focal point for investment ventures aimed at upgrading infrastructure, enhancing energy accessibility, and creating employment opportunities. However, the reception to these investments has been far from warm, with many projects provoking prolonged legal disputes and public backlash.

Serbia, the Balkan nation that has the biggest appetite for the expensive and polluting infrastructure projects that China has offered, just celebrated Xi Jinping’s visit to Belgrade with a grand headline in a pro-government newspaper that reads: “May the Light of Our Ironclad Friendship Shine on the Path of China-Serbia Cooperation.” This succinctly summarizes the official narrative regarding a decade of Chinese investments in the country, while the two sides agreed that several billion euro worth of new investment deals will follow. 

Read the article in full: The Diplomat