Republika Srpska’s Ministry of Transport and Communication was ordered to provide the Transparency International NGO with the contract it signed with a Chinese company to build the Banja Luka-Prijedor highway.
Sarajevo Canton’s transport minister Adnan Steta said he has asked Chinese companies involved in the renovation of the city’s tramway tracks for details of their past jobs after an investigation by BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina raised competence issues.
Authorities in Bosnia’s Sarajevo canton are refusing to release the contract they signed with a Chinese consortium for the reconstruction of the capital’s tram lines, making public oversight impossible.
The court blocked the expansion of the passenger port of Piraeus that were part of a development agreement with a Chinese company worth 4.3 billion euros because an environmental assessment was not done.
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the focus of one of the most important Chinese companies’ desire to expand into the Western Balkans. Through the telecommunications company Huawei, China is extending its influence around the world, which is why it has been sanctioned by some countries. In the Western Balkans, the company wants to be the first to establish 4G and 5G networks and so-called ‘smart’ and ‘secure’ cities, but this is also raising concerns about its lack of transparency and privacy protection for users and the general public. BIRN has researched the company’s goals, the way it is expanding and the consequences of this. We have found out that Huawei paid for trips abroad for ministers.
Serbia beat off competition from around Central and Eastern Europe to host the first Chinese tyre factory in Europe, but evidence obtained by NGOs and BIRN point to ‘systematic exploitation’ – potentially human trafficking – of hundreds of Vietnamese men hired to build it. Serbian authorities say they see nothing wrong.
Serbian NGOs claim they have been denied access to workers from Vietnam who were brought to the country to build a factory for a Chinese company and are allegedly labouring and living in grim conditions.