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In recent years, Chinese investment has poured into Southeast Europe, offering access to desperately-needed development financing. But at what cost? The conditions around the cash have raised concerns related to democracy, labour standards, and debt.

It is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, and an extension of the controversial approach China has already taken in Africa and Latin America. Why are European countries now turning to China? And what does it mean for the continent’s future?

From the copper mines of Eastern Serbia, to Montenegro’s billion-dollar highway to nowhere, this film goes on the frontlines of China’s economic advancements into Europe.

View the trailer:

Event details

Join us for a special screening of new documentary film, 'Tinderbox, Belt & Road: China in the Balkans,' followed by a panel discussion with Producer and Director, Sam George from the Bertelsmann Foundation and guests.

Refreshments will be provided. Please note that registration is required. 

Panel guests 

Professor Adam Fagan, Professor of European Politics, King's College London

Professor Eva Pils, Professor of Law, King's College London

Dr Konstantinos Tsimonis, Lecturer in Chinese Society, Lau China Institute

About the Producer & Director

Samuel George is a documentary filmmaker for the Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organisation based in Washington, DC. Samuel’s documentaries bring viewers up close and personal to people and communities facing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, offering candid perspectives that allows viewers to draw their own conclusions. His films focus on the intersection of politics, economics, social issues, and daily life. Filming on the ground from the Turkish – Syrian border, to the factories of Juarez, Mexico, to elections in West Virginia, the films seek to offer a voice to those impacted by policy and macro trends, but who often are denied a seat at the table where decisions are made. George is currently completing a PhD at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Tinderbox, Belt and Road: China in the Balkans is a Bertelsmann Foundation Documentary produced and directed by Samuel George.

Year of Release: 2023

Run Time: 54 minutes

At this event

Konstantinos  Tsimonis

Senior Lecturer in Chinese Society

Adam Fagan

Vice President (Education & Student Success)

Eva  Pils

Professor of Law

Event details

Macadam Building
Macadam Building, Surrey Street, London, WC2R 2NS