China Belt and Road Initiative Journal: Research Analysis and Perspectives

ISSN 2515-9402

EISSN 2515-9410

The Balkans Geopolitical Divide Influencing Trade and Investment: Convergence and Divergence within the Beijing-Brussels Dilemma—an Albanian Perspective


Marsela Musabelliu

Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2019

Special Issue “16+1” Cooperation and Chinese Investments in Central and Eastern European Countries


It is never an easy task trying to encapsulate this tumultuous region and frame the true meaning
of the roots of its problems since the controversies in academia and practitioners seem to be thrown in abiding contrasts, however, anytime one analyzes the Balkans, in whatever social science perspective, could never avoid the haunting “Ghosts of the Past” .
According to the standards of Western modernity the Balkans were seen as geopolitically and
emotionally unstable, although this ‘emotionalism’ could be articulated in a more or less violent direction. Indeed the region has been a dedicated battlefield for clashes of empires throughout history and violence from outside and inside has characterized these lands up to just one decade ago.

Since the fall of the Berlin wall the Balkans proceeded with its move from basically centrally planned
economies, towards an undeniable open market philosophy for all governments of the area.
The region has generally outperformed many developing countries nearby, driven by trade growth,
large inflows of investment and private consumption. For the purpose of this paper not all Balkan
countries are analyzed; the focus is placed manly on the countries which fall under the geographic
term and at the same time are part of the ‘16+1’cooperation mechanism such as: Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Montenegro, Romania,
Serbia and Slovenia. 

Content :

1. 1. Introduction
Historical background

The Balkans on the verge of the new Millennium

2. Chinese presence in the Area

3. Perceptions and Misperceptions

Where does PRC stand today in the region?

4. Conclusions—an Albanian perspective