The people’s Republic of China pragmatically adapts to the situation of (in)action of the EU on the ground by legitimately lobbying and “infiltrating” its (geo)economic, (geo)political and security interests in the Western Balkans
The outbreak of the SARS – CoV – 2 virus pandemic prompted (ruling) representatives of the global governance system to redefine and then offer the international community an answer on the reclassification of actors in international relations. By obtaining the answer to this question, only then will we be in a far better position to see whether and in what way the structure of international relations is changing.
When it comes to the strategically important region of the Western Balkans, the new pandemic has revealed several facts about China’s foreign policy. First and foremost, China still takes the simultaneous position of a developing economy and a superpower that wants to ensure global development by offering economic, political and medical assistance to countries worldwide. Then, the People’s Republic vigilantly monitors and pragmatically adapts to the situation of (in)action of the EU on the ground, alongside creating parallel structures of relations and normative frameworks, it legitimately lobbies and “infiltrates” preexisting models and forms of relations between the Western Balkans and the rest of the world and other great powers with its own (geo)economic, (geo)political and security interests.
The people’s Republic of China, as the “+1”, creates an atmosphere that encourages the eu to act as a coherent whole and to bring about changes in relations and strategic actions, both towards these EU candidate countries and towards China’s global ambitions
Although Beijing insists that its diplomacy is free of such values, it nonetheless creates an atmosphere that will be conducive to China’s understanding of international norms, building upon existing fields of common interest and opening new ones, placing Chinese surpluses of steel, glass, labour and foreign currency reserves, and achieving win-win cooperation as a form of realising national goals, which was shown through the organising of the China + 17 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
On the other side, the People’s Republic of China, as the “+1”, implements such strategies in supplementing and shifting relations with the Western Balkan region as a whole and the countries that comprise it geographically and politically, while at the same time creating an atmosphere that encourages the EU to act as a coherent whole and to bring about changes in relations and strategic actions, both towards these EU candidate countries and towards China’s global ambitions. In the same context, the newly arisen situation impacts on the EU when it comes to being able to participate on different terms in the creation of a security architecture, political climate and economic flows in the Western Balkans. However, a question still remains as to whether the countries of the Western Balkans possess the required institutional capacity, developed civil society and diplomatic “ingenuity” to utilise development opportunities by harmonising the different and sometimes conflicting interests of the EU and China, as well as the interests of other powerful states present in this part of the world.
In the end, everyone bears responsibility for their own actions.