Chinese interest in the Western Balkans.
The chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang, paid a three-day visit to Serbia in mid-July. The trip, by China’s third-most-senior official, is the latest milestone in China’s deepening relationship with the Western Balkans.
- China’s penetration of the Western Balkans could challenge the EU’s preponderance and ability to steer the region towards liberal reform.
- Beijing's huge economic clout also reduces Moscow's energy leverage, especially in states where China is building new energy infrastructure.
- For better or worse, the economic dividend created by Chinese investment is helping to sustain the existing cadre of Balkan leaders.