Comparative analysis of Western Balkans and Visegrad countries’ approach towards China
The Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence has taken part in the preparation of a comparative analysis, which will aim to explore the ways in which China operates in the area that encompasses the countries of the Visegrad Group and the Balkans, as well as the differences in the relations that these countries developed towards increased Chinese presence.
China is present in the Balkans as never before. Serbia is at the very border with the European Union and represents a state that is on the “New Silk Road”. Serbia is country that is included in the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and in recent years we witnessed a constant inflow of Chinese capital into Serbia, investment in infrastructure, meetings of officials of the two countries at the highest levels, as well as an increasing cultural exchange.
Serbia, and additionally the Visegrad Group, are a shortcut for China to reach wider European markets, and the growing interest, and investment in this region are logical, as is the increase in the impact that comes with it.
The aim of the study is to make a comparative analysis of this impact, which, on the one hand, is accepted as welcomed and it is considered that the benefits that come with it should be fully utilised. On the other hand, it raises skepticism and certain issues and questions related to the real nature of these investments.
The Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence is working with Prague Security Studies Institute (Czech Republic), Institute of Asian Studies (Slovakia), HAS Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Institute of World Economics (Hungary) and Center for International Relations (Poland).
The International Visegrad Fund (IVF) supports the project.