Legal Memo on Chinese investments in Serbia Shows Weakened Rule of Law, Leading to Forced Labour and Human Rights Abuses

Ahead of this week’s European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) vote on Serbia, Just Finance International and Serbia’s Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI) today published a legal analysis detailing how a weakening of law and transparency in Serbia has provided loopholes for large scale infrastructure investments, including from China, leading to reports of forced labour and human rights abuses, along with impacts on human health and the environment.

Legal Analysis: Increased Legal Violations from Chinese Investments in Serbia

It is common for Serbian government authorities to hide information, without a legal or security basis for doing so, when submitting documents to the online portal or responding to information requests. This may include protecting the name of the legal entity, as well as the official case number and other data that should be available to the public.

Mještani ugroženi nakon što je kineski Zijin utrostručio proizvodnju u kombinatu bakra u Srbiji

U istočnoj Srbiji nalazi se Bor, jedan od najzagađenijih gradova u toj zemlji. Dok mještani demonstriraju zbog zagađenog vazduha i vode, kineska rudarska kompanija „Serbia Zijin Copper“ koja upravlja velikim rudarsko-metalurškim kompleksom proširuje rudarske radove bez potrebnih dozvola, saglasnosti mještana i transparentnog procesa.

Local residents at risk after China’s Zijin triples production at Serbian copper complex

Bor, in north-eastern Serbia, is one of the country’s most polluted cities. While citizens protest their toxic air and water, Chinese mining company Zijin, which runs the city’s large-scale copper mining and smelting complex, is expanding its operations without permits, local consent or transparency.

Reaction to EU Parliament Resolution on forced labour in Serbia’s Linglong tyre factory and environmental protests in Serbia

Brussels, 16 December 2021: Reacting to the passing of an EU Parliament vote on an urgent resolution on forced Vietnamese labour in Serbia’s Linglong tyre factory, and environmental protests in Serbia [1], Wawa Wang, program director of Just Finance International, said: “The overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament today recognised there is a… Continue reading Reaction to EU Parliament Resolution on forced labour in Serbia’s Linglong tyre factory and environmental protests in Serbia

Response: G20 ends public financing for international coal-fired power projects, we ask China to walk away from Western Balkan coal projects immediately.

G20 nations including China have agreed to ending public financing for international coal-fired power projects this year, following on from similar commitments by the G7 and the OECD. China, the world’s top financier for the construction of international coal-fired power projects, still currently has over 1.7 GW of planned coal-fired power plants and the 350 MW Kostolac B3 coal-fired power project under construction in the Western Balkan countries in Southeast Europe… Continue Reading

Adding coal to the fire

Our research on China’s new and ongoing international coal-fired power deals show that while project completion rate is on the decline, and the cancellation rate of projects in a number of countries has risen during the past year, there is a risk that over 3,645 megawatts of newly announced deals from 2021 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Serbia, as well as over 10 GW of planned projects in six countries across Europe, Asia and Africa may receive financing or at risk of getting built and put into operation.

G20 Is Opportunity for China to Make Good on its Coal Phase-out Promise – Just Finance International

Copenhagen, 27 October 2021:- China must provide clarity on whether its “international new coal projects exit” covers existing projects during this weekend’s G20 gathering in Rome, or run the risk of building outdated, unwanted climate-warming coal-fired electricity capacity, according to Just Finance International. The commitment to exit coal projects was made by Chinese leader Xi… Continue reading G20 Is Opportunity for China to Make Good on its Coal Phase-out Promise – Just Finance International

Serbia’s pollution crisis in pictures

Bor, in north-eastern Serbia, is one of the country’s most polluted cities. While citizens protest their dirty air and water, Chinese mining company Zijin, which runs the city’s large-scale copper mining and smelting complex, is expanding its operations. This unique picture essay by Nemanja Pančić captures the industrial landscape and pollution in Bor and its surrounds.