Wang Yi: China-Serbia friendship is 'on the right side of history'

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday hailed China-Serbia friendship in Belgrade, saying that maintaining it is "to stand on the right side of history."

Wang made the remarks after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

During the meeting, Vucic described China as "a most reliable, most valuable and greatest friend," spoke highly of the two countries' strong political trust, and vowed to substantially increase economic and trade exchanges.

He thanked the Chinese side for firmly supporting Serbia to protect its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for its assistance to Serbia in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, developing its economy and improving people's wellbeing.

Vucic said that the Serbian side will unswervingly pursue a friendly policy towards China, expand mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and jointly implement the major Belt and Road projects so that bilateral relations can scale new heights.

For his part, Wang said that both the Chinese and Serbian people attach great importance to friendship and the upholding of justice, and both defy power politics and stand against bullying.

Noting that China-Serbia relations enjoy a strong internal driving force and broad prospects, Wang said that for a long time, the two brotherly countries have supported and helped each other, jointly protecting their respective legitimate rights and interests and safeguarding international equity and justice.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic in Belgrade, Serbia, October 28, 2021. /China's Foreign Ministry

Serbian FM voices adherence to one-China principle

Wang also held talks with Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic on Thursday, when he spoke highly of bilateral friendship and pledged to strengthen bilateral relations.

Traditional China-Serbia friendship has withstood the test of changes in the world and emerged from the trying times of blood and fire with new dynamism and vitality, Wang said, adding that China regards Serbia as its most reliable partner and firmly supports Serbia in speeding up its national development and rejuvenation.

Selakovic reiterated Serbia's firm adherence to the one-China principle and support for China's positions on issues such as those related to Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

He added that the pandemic didn't block the exchanges and cooperation between Serbia and China, whose joint containment efforts have only brought the two peoples even closer.


'China-Serbia relations are model of China-CEEC cooperation'

When meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic on Wednesday, Wang said that China-Serbia relations have become a benchmark for mutually beneficial cooperation and a model for Belt and Road cooperation as well as cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).

The two sides should advance key projects within the Belt and Road framework and expand cooperation in the green economy, clean energy, energy efficiency, Internet Plus, cross-border e-commerce, big data, cloud computing, smart cities and 5G to provide stronger impetus for sustainable development, he said.

Brnabic said that Serbia is ready to work with China to implement key Belt and Road projects, strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, digital economy, artificial intelligence and biotechnology to push bilateral relations to a new level, she said.

China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets Serbia's National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic in Belgrade, Serbia, October 27, 2021. /China's Foreign Ministry

China, Serbia to boost legislative cooperation

In talks with Serbia's National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic on Wednesday, Wang stressed the importance of legislative cooperation in China-Serbia bilateral ties, saying that China is ready to strengthen cooperation between the two countries' legislative bodies.

He said that China and Serbia should continue to stand firmly together to defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, uphold basic norms governing international relations and promote international fairness and justice.

Dacic said, the Serbian people are the most sincere friends of the Chinese people, and Serbia is firmly committed to developing friendly cooperation with China and is ready to conduct high-level visits and governance exchanges between the legislatures of the two countries.

Wang's visit to Serbia came following his trip to Greece and was his second leg of his European trip, which also includes Albania and Italy.

Greece, Serbia and Albania are all part of the 17+1 mechanism, which unites China and 17 CEEC countries. And Italy has taken part in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In announcing the trip, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said it demonstrates China's willingness to consolidate bilateral friendship, deepen China-CEEC cooperation, and promote the healthy and steady development of the relations between China and the European side.

"Greece, Serbia, Albania and Italy are important cooperation partners of China in Europe. China and these four countries boast profound traditional friendship, have close cooperation across the board and share fruitful outcomes in BRI cooperation," he said.

(Cover: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (R) meets visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Belgrade, Serbia, October 28, 2021. /China's Foreign Ministry)

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