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15 Dez 2021

Bojan Stojkovski, Ivana Jeremic, Samir Kajosevic, Ivana Nikolic, Ivan Angelovski, Fatjona Mejdini, Irvin Pekmez and BIRN

Balkans: Research identifies 135 Chinese-linked projects in the region worth over 32 billion euros

"China in the Balkans: Controversy and Cost", 15 December 2021

It started in 2009; the financial crisis that hit the world a year earlier was storming through the Balkans, and the region was scraping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet. 

Enter China. 

Greece opened its door through the Port of Piraeus, while Serbia declared China the ‘fourth pillar’ of its foreign policy. Balkan countries needed money, and China needed a friendly corridor from the Mediterranean to Europe. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But it came at a price. 

More than a decade later, by BIRN’s own count, the region hosts 135 projects worth at least 32 billion euros, that are in one way, or another linked to China. The interactive map ‘China in the Balkans’ is a result of BIRN’s research into the various types of cooperation between Beijing and countries in the region.

China is taking over metallurgy, mining, energy, and transport, with most of these projects accompanied by allegations of corruption, exploitation and environmental harm. [...]

Serbia: The main playground [...]

Montenegro: Heavily indebted to China [...]

Bosnia: Energy takeover [...]

Greece: Disillusionment and disenchantment [...]

Albania: Pushback [...]

North Macedonia: Lack of interest [...]


Part of the following timelines

Montenegro: China-backed Belt & Road highway strains country's finances

Greece: COSCO-owned Piraeus Port