Xi Jinping Meets with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić

On 5 February 2022 at the Great Hall of the People, President Xi Jinping met with President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia who came to China for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

President Xi welcomed President Vučić to China for the opening ceremony. Describing China and Serbia as “ironclad friends” with a high degree of political mutual trust, President Xi spoke highly of bilateral relationship as a role model in international relations that has stood the test of all the vicissitudes and grown even stronger. Recent years have witnessed leapfrog development of bilateral relations, and a number of important cooperation projects in infrastructure, energy and production capacity have been implemented by the two sides, which rank among the best in China’s cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Serbia have worked together in mutual assistance and support, writing a new chapter of friendship in bilateral relations and leaving a fond memory in the hearts of the two peoples.

Noting the changes unseen in a hundred years and the once-in-a-century pandemic, President Xi stressed that China and Serbia need to approach bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, uphold and grow China-Serbia friendship, and safeguard the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries. China firmly supports the path of development that the Serbian people have chosen independently. The two sides need to enhance strategic synergy, pursue high-quality cooperation on Belt and Road, advance cooperation projects such as the Serbia-Hungary railway and Novi Sad-Ruma expressway for more progress, continuously amplify the economic and social benefits of projects like the HBIS Smederevo Steel Plant and Zijin Bor Copper, and translate traditional friendship between China and Serbia into more  practical cooperation achievements. President Xi reaffirmed China’s commitment to providing support to Serbia in fighting COVID-19 and increasing bilateral cooperation in joint vaccine production and restoration of work and production. He stressed the importance of strengthening public support for China-Serbia friendship, and expressed China’s readiness to enhance cooperation with Serbia in multilateral settings, and work together to safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, uphold the basic norms of international relations, accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

President Vučić applauded the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics last night as grand and spectacular and a visual feast for all the audiences. He expressed deep appreciation of the thoughtful and warm reception of the Chinese side and the sincerity and friendship of the Chinese people. Recalling President Xi’s visit to Serbia in 2016, President Vučić noted that the trip has greatly boosted Serbia-China relations. Since then, bilateral trade has increased three-fold, the construction of Serbia-Hungary railway made positive progress, and Serbia’s economic growth has been one of the highest in Europe for years in a row. President Vučić stressed that Serbia is a true friend of China. The Serbian side respects China and admires China’s great leadership. No matter what pressure or difficulty there may be, the steel-like friendship between the two countries will never change, nor will the friendly sentiment the Serbian side holds toward the Chinese people. Serbia will always stand firmly with the Chinese people on issues concerning China’s core interests including issues relating to Xinjiang and Taiwan. To strengthen cooperation with China is of crucial importance to Serbia. The Serbian side looks forward to further enhancing cooperation with the Chinese side in economy, trade and investment and stepping up the people-to-people and cultural exchanges. He expressed the confidence that Serbia-China relations will achieve greater development after the pandemic and wished China greater success under the strong leadership of President Xi. President Vučić also extended an invitation to President Xi to visit Serbia at the earliest possible time of convenience after the pandemic.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi were present at the meeting.

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