Connect with us


China, Serbia chart ‘shared future’ as Xi Jinping visits Europe




China, Serbia chart ‘shared future’ as Xi Jinping visits Europe

BELGRADE (Reuters) – China and Serbia on Wednesday agreed to follow a “shared future” as President Xi Jinping visited the Balkan country, part of his bid to forge stronger relations with allies at the edge of the European Union.

Xi´s visit is part of his first European tour in five years, and is seen as an effort to strengthen ties with eastern European countries that are pro-Russia and large recipients of Chinese investment. He will fly to Hungary later in the day.

“We are writing history today,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a large crowd that had gathered in front of the Serbian presidential palace to welcome Xi, applauding and chanting “China, China”.

The two countries signed 29 agreements promoting legal, regulatory and economic cooperation, with Serbia becoming the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China in years.

Vucic said that since 2020 China had been the single-largest investor in Serbia, and that its investment was up 30-fold over the past decade. The free trade deal that should become operational in July will guarantee tariff-free exports for 95% of Serbian products to China over the next five to 10 years, he said.

Both leaders boast of an ironclad partnership. Along with Hungary, Serbia is Europe’s firmest supporter of China’s huge Belt and Road infrastructure project across parts of Asia and Europe.

“We shall jointly confront hegemony and the politics of power,” Xi said.


Xi´s visit comes on the anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during a campaign against the former Yugoslavia to force late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic to end a crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

The bombing, which killed three Chinese journalists and wounded 20 Chinese nationals, prompted outrage in China and an apology from then U.S. President Bill Clinton.

“The Chinese people appreciate the peace but will never allow that a historic tragedy repeats itself,” Xi said in an opinion article in the daily Politika on Tuesday.

‘ ;
var i = Math.floor(r_text.length * Math.random());

Continue Reading