Project Code: STATE-MKD-48

Tracking Chinese Influence in North Macedonia

Project Title Tracking Chinese Influence in North Macedonia
Project Summary Analyze news summaries from publicly available sources to identify trends and key inroads made by China within North Macedonia and the region more broadly. Produce a tracker to highlight key engagements through time for use by policy makers.
Country Macedonia
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Section POL
Number of Interns 1
Project Description

As China's influence grows globally, the United States government has taken a keen interest in better understanding the nature and scope of China's ambitions. The U.S.-China bilateral relationship has been called the most consequential relationship in the world, but in many ways that relationship itself depends on the ways third countries perceive and interact with both countries. While Chinese topics such as the Belt and Road Initiative, South China Sea expansion, and the U.S.-China "trade war" have made headlines, far less understood are China's aspirations within the Balkans, despite the region's importance in many U.S. foreign relations priorities.

In this project, VSFS interns would provide vanguard research into how various Chinese actors are approaching relationships within North Macedonia. This includes not only the government (central, provincial, and municipal) but companies (public and private), institutions (cultural, academic, scientific, etc), and private citizens (such as tourists or exchange programs). Interns would work with the Skopje China Watcher and create a tracker of major engagements through time, in addition to drafting reports for use by policy makers. This internship provides an opportunity to work on a priority topic (China) within a priority region (the Balkans) at a critical time for all countries involved.

Required Skills or Interests
Data analysis
Data visualization
Political Analysis
Additional Information

While not a requirement, ability to read Chinese or Macedonian is a plus.