Restoring dialogue, the only correct way to relieve tensions in northern Kosovo

China Military Online
Huang Panyue
2024-04-29 20:58:24

By Dong Yifan

Recently, the tensions in northern Kosovo have constantly escalated as the Kosovo authorities continue to exacerbate contradictions and confrontation, resulting in frequent violence incidents in the region. On April 22, the UN Security Council held a session on the Kosovo issue, expressing the international community's wish for easing the tense situation and preventing the escalation of confrontation.

The Kosovo issue, as a persisting problem, has evolved into a geopolitical risk in the Western Balkans and even around Europe. The root reason behind this issue is that the US and other Western countries recklessly interfere in the internal affairs of the Western Balkans by military means.

After the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2022, NATO began to take an increasingly aggressive stance on European security and geopolitics. In this context, the EU and the US have continuously pressured Serbia to move closer to the Western camp against Russia. In July 2022, the Kosovo authorities forcibly demanded that Serbs in northern Kosovo switch their Serbian car license plates to ones issued by Kosovo, triggering fierce clashes between Serbs and Kosovo police. In April 2024, the mayor elections in the area were boycotted by Serbs, who make up 90% of the local population, as the Kosovo authorities refused to fulfill the commitment to establish an association of Serb majority municipalities in northern Kosovo. Recently, the Kosovo authorities announced a ban on the use of Serbian currency and carried out violent searches against Serbs, which seriously affected the normal lives of the Serbs and further intensified the ongoing ethnic conflicts in the region.

The Kosovo authorities' actions to deliberately escalate contradictions and create regional conflicts have provoked criticism from various parties. In May 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the Kosovo authorities should be responsible for the tense situation by not complying with a series of agreements reached previously. Later, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Kosovo to allow new elections in four northern municipalities.

As a matter of fact, the reason behind the continuous aggressive measures adopted by Kosovo authorities is the continuous biased intervention of the US-led Western forces, which even openly support the Kosovo authorities and exert pressure on the Serbian government. In recent years, NATO has continued to expand into the Western Balkans and intensified its interference in regional security affairs. In May 2023, NATO dispatched additional so-called "peacekeeping troops" into Kosovo, which held military exercises in Kosovo in July. In December of the same year, the US sent its National Guard troops into Kosovo to carry out peacekeeping missions. In January 2024, the US blatantly supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kosovo, further fueling tensions in the region. Not long ago, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to adopt a resolution to invite Kosovo to become a member of the Council of Europe. From this perspective, NATO is actually carrying out its policy of intervention since the outbreak of the Kosovo conflict 25 years ago, and wantonly trampling on Serbia's national interests and the legitimate rights and interests of local Serbs by means of its so-called "values and human rights standards".

With regard to the situation in Kosovo, China has always advocated for upholding peace, maintaining international fairness and justice, and settling disputes through dialogue and communication. At the recent UN Security Council meeting on the Kosovo issue, Fu Cong, China's permanent representative to the UN, stated that  China supports the parties to engage each other within the framework of Security Council Resolution 1244 and reach a mutually acceptable solution through dialogue and consultation. During this process, Serbia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity should be fully respected, he said.

To promote the settlement of the Kosovo issue, it is necessary to abandon the mentality of geopolitical competition and the bias in values, and return to the track of promoting reconciliation and dialogue and taking responsible measures. All parties should learn from history, reflect on themselves, and make greater efforts conducive to peace and security, so as to prevent Kosovo and the Balkans from falling into turmoil again.

(The author is the head of the European economic research project of the Institute of European Studies under China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations .)

Editor's note: Originally published on, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of

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