Linglong Is Not an Investment but a Cruel Exploitation

Analysing the events related to the construction of the Linglong tire factory, political scientists Dr. Radivoje Jovović and Dr. Duško Radosavljević agreed at the panel discussion in Zrenjanin that this is a bad business deal for Serbia, which indicates its colonization and exploitation.

Dr Radivoje Jovović, dr Duško Radosavljević and Miroslav Samardžić

Radivoje Jovović reminded that the great promises about the investment of national importance and the company that will revive Zrenjanin led to the company that is being debated in the European Parliament due to the inhumane conditions of its construction workers, which is violating range of construction and environmental regulations.

– Linglong is not an investment but pure and cruel exploitation. There has been a renunciation of natural wealth – agricultural land, there is an outflow of money from the budget, there will be pollution, and I especially emphasize that with such an investment there is a strengthening of authoritarian and violent tendencies in society. When you communicate with the West, you must act in accordance with procedures, you are required to have at least some aspect of the rule of law, fiscal discipline, criteria for awarding jobs, while in communication with totalitarian systems like China there are no such criteria, they are only interested to penetrate smaller states economically and politically, which local dictators use to grab money for themselves. In two years, everything that is happening in connection with Linglong has managed to destroy the legal order, credibility and reputation of Serbia, and to lower the level of labour rights. When people see the employees in Linglong pass by, they will think “it’s not so bad for me, at least I have a toilet”. Linglong helps to normalize abnormally, that people live below the limit of dignity and that they do not have the possibility to get out of such a position. If we do not oppose Linglong, an even worse scenario follows, because the capital managed by authoritarian regimes will not stop in exploitation, and what comes to us politically from China is most reminiscent of fascist corporatism – said Jovović.

Panel discussion was held on 4th of March in the hotel Vojvodina in Zrenjanin

– If someone thinks that Linglong tire factory should be made, that it is good, that it is safe, that it does not pollute, why it is being made in the middle of an agricultural area, but not on Dedinje or in Belgrade on the water, Dusko Radosavljevic wondered. He also drew attention to the lack of professional public debate before deciding on such a capital project and the fact that citizens could not say whether they were for or against it, as is the practice of developed and democratic countries, and not in the colonies. Radosavljevic reminded of the saying “it is difficult to one whom China feeds and Russia defends”, which, as he said, is best seen in our case.

Video recording of panel discussion