China, not Russia, is the biggest threat to Kosovo

China’s capacity is overestimated. Xi’s reputation has been tarnished by the lack of transparency on the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s economic miracle slows; its economy grew only 6.6% in 2018, the lowest rate in 28 years. Its population is aging, which further slows economic development. The Chinese Communist Party is made up of elites, barely representative of 1.4 billion Chinese.

Kosovo needs a blind response to the malicious intentions of Russia and China. It is expected to launch an inter-agency “Russia and China Strategic Planning Group” to study their activities and develop a political and security response.

It needs a regional strategy and a communication plan. Kosovo should cooperate with like-minded neighbors to collect and share information. It is also expected to expand cooperation with Western intelligence agencies.

The United States can build Kosovo’s armed forces with training and equipment that meet NATO standards. He should consider a roadmap for defense cooperation with Kosovo, similar to the US agreements with the Baltic states, or a mutual defense treaty, similar to the US agreement with South Korea, to protect Kosovo. external threats.

NATO can play a central role in building Kosovo’s capabilities, giving Kosovo a fast track to NATO’s Partnership for Peace agenda and clearing a clear path to NATO membership. ‘by 2028.

As China ramps up its malicious operations, the countries of the Western Balkans need a more effective counterintelligence strategy. China’s peaceful rise is a myth. While Russia is still a threat, China is emerging as the biggest threat.

Mr. Phillips is Director of the Peacebuilding and Human Rights Program at Columbia University. He was a senior adviser and foreign affairs expert at the US State Department under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BIRN.

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