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Film Screening: Tinderbox, Belt and Road—China in the Balkans

In-Person Only Event

Date & Time

Jun. 12, 2023
1:00pm – 2:45pm ET


6th Floor Flom Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center


Over the past decade, Chinese investment has poured into the Balkans, offering the countries access to desperately needed development financing. But at what cost? Chinese infrastructure funding has triggered concerns about labor standards, democracy, debt, and pollution. From the copper mines in eastern Serbia to Montenegro’s billion-dollar highway to nowhere, this Bertelsmann Foundation film goes to the frontlines of China’s economic advancements in Europe. 

Join filmmaker Samuel George (Bertelsmann Foundation) for a viewing of the film and a discussion with Belt and Road policy, research and environmental advocacy experts. Jingjing Zhang (University of Maryland School of Law, Center for Transnational Environmental Accountability (CTEA)) has led extensive litigation work in Africa and Latin America to ensure Chinese infrastructure companies comply with environmental laws and international human rights norms. Margaret Myers (Inter-American Dialogue & Wilson Center) brings deep expertise in a broad range of BRI investments in Latin America to the table. During his tenure as a member of the Belt and Road Initiative Green Coalition, Christoph Nedopil (Green Finance & Development Center, Fudan University) has worked with China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment and academics on strategies to green China’s BRI.

This is an in-person only event. The post-film discussion will be recorded and posted online at a later date when the film becomes available.


Samuel George

Samuel George

Filmmaker, Bertelsmann Foundation
Zhang Jingjing 张兢兢

Zhang Jingjing 张兢兢

Executive Director; lawyer, licensed in China, Center for Transnational Environmental Accountability (CTEA); Lecturer, University of Maryland School of Law
Image - Margaret Meyers

Margaret Myers

Former Fellow;
Director, Asia and Latin America Program, Inter-American Dialogue
Christoph Nedopil Wang

Christoph Nedopil

Director, Green Finance & Development Center; Associate Professor, Fudan University  

Hosted By

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge US-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more

Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition

The Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition works to shape conversations and inspire meaningful action to strengthen technology, trade, infrastructure, and energy as part of American economic and global leadership that benefits the nation and the world.  Read more

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program is focused on Europe’s capabilities, and how it engages on critical global issues.  We investigate European approaches to critical global issues. We examine Europe’s relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Our initiatives include “Ukraine in Europe” – an examination of what it will take to make Ukraine’s European future a reality.  But we also examine the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE, Europe’s energy security, transatlantic trade disputes, and challenges to democracy. The Global Europe Program’s staff, scholars-in-residence, and Global Fellows participate in seminars, policy study groups, and international conferences to provide analytical recommendations to policy makers and the media.  Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.