The trend of Chinese companies implementing various projects in the Balkans, especially in Serbia is growing. The Asian state is penetrating into Balkans through economic investments. Chinese companies are managing to obtain tenders by applying with lowest possible prices.
To implement the projects these companies hire labor force from China and other Asian countries. The media in Serbia report that the conditions in which they work are disastrous, while the incomes for the workers are minimal.
Earlier this year, about 50 workers of the Zi Jin company protested in front of the firm’s headquarters in the Bor mine in Serbia due to poor working conditions. They were mistreated at a time when some of the workers were even infected with the COVID-19 virus.
They warned that once back to China they would sue the Zi Jin Company for forcing them to work for months without a leave, poor food services, without heating during the winter, and with the inability to get out of the work zone during their working hours.
Other workers from the far east also face difficult working conditions in the Balkans. Not long ago, Vietnamese workers protested in a factory in Serbia precisely because of the harsh working conditions. Employers reportedly confiscate their passports in order to prevent them from leaving Serbia.
It is universally known that Chinese interest in the Balkans is in the economic sphere as it is growing steadily. In addition to this sphere, the powerful Asian state has recently started investing in several different Balkan media, which is a new concern for the region.