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Interview: Xi's visit to enhance Sino-Serbian ties: ambassador

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

06-15-2016 21:58 BJT

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BELGRADE, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Serbia is of great significance and will surely raise Sino-Serbian relations to a new high, the Chinese ambassador to Serbia said.

Political contacts between China and Serbia have been frequent in recent years and bilateral ties have grown steadily, Li Manchang said in an interview with Xinhua ahead of Xi's state visits to Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan on June 17-22.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli visited Serbia in late 2014 and in mid-2015 respectively, while Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic attended China's landmark parade marking the 70th anniversary of the World Anti-Fascist War victory in September 2015.

Ambassador Li believed that the frequent exchange of high-level visits may reflect the constant growth of relations between the two countries.

Serbia built a strategic partnership with China in 2009. It is China's first strategic partner in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

On the Sino-Serbian relationship, Ambassador Li quoted Serbian Prime Minister Aleksander Vucic as saying that "Serbia is always China's reliable friend and partner."

The Chinese ambassador noted that China and Serbia firmly support each other on issues related to their own core interests and have become real strategic partners.

Both sides support and help each other on the basis of equality and mutual trust, and jointly maintain international fairness and justice, he said.

Sino-Serbian cooperation has set an example for China-CEE cooperation and boosted China-Europe relations, the ambassador said, citing the first China-built railway bridge in Europe, highways and hydro power stations as results of such cooperation.

Sino-Serbian cooperation have expanded constantly in recent years, from infrastructure construction to the realms of energy, iron and steel, telecommunications, and finance, and from loans to investment and joint ventures, Ambassador Li stressed.

China and Serbia signed a memorandum on jointly promoting the "Belt and Road" construction in 2015, he said, adding that Serbia has offered strong support for China's Belt and Road Initiative.

He noted that during Xi's upcoming visit, China and Serbia will sign a series of political and economic agreements, map out blueprints and plans for the future development of the two countries, and further enhance bilateral relations.

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