The Digital Silk Road Brings A New Competition-driven Dilemma

China’s new technology predicament for the Western Balkans

9 February 2023

The Western Balkans has cleaved itself essentially into three factions when it comes to technology, those adhering to security concerns from the West and banning Chinese infrastructure, those embracing Beijing’s Digital Silk Road and a murky middle group. To achieve the region’s stated goals of EU accession, they will have to be more lockstep in their approach.

For a long period, China has been present in the Western Balkans, which is not surprising because strategic interests were always there! Today, China continues its presence and has increased its digital footprint by initiating the Digital Silk Road and expanding further into the region.

The Digital Silk Road

The Digital Silk Road refers to a project initiated by Beijing to improve digital connectivity by making China the main actor in the process.

As a project, it focuses on expanding China’s digital footprint and strategic influence by establishing communication networks, satellite information and cross-border cables.

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Arta Haxhixhemajli

Arta Haxhixhemajli is Project Manager for Western Balkans at the Center for Security and Analysis Prevention (CSAP) in Prague, Czech Republic. Arta holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Warsaw, and a Master’s degree in World Politics and International Relations from the University of Pavia. Her work focuses on international security, security dilemma, conflict resolution, cyber security, nuclear weapons proliferation, and political context. She is responsible for editing, writing and reviewing articles and implementing workshops, concept proposals and conferences for different topics in security and political aspect. She has also published several articles related to cyber security and states, ethical hacking, migration and human security, information security management system standards, trade and foreign policy of Western Balkans, Wagner group, China’s relation in the CEE countries, and security issues in the Western Balkans. Her native language is Albanian and she is fluent in French and English.

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