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Xi, first Chinese President to visit Serbia in 30 years


06-15-2016 13:02 BJT

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Serbia will be President Xi Jinping's first stop on his upcoming tour. He will be the first Chinese president to visit the country in more than 30 years. But what else makes the trip so significant?

Serbia is located in the central-north of the Balkan Peninsula. It has borders with 8 countries including Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Macedonia. Its unique geography provides a backbone for China's cooperation with central and eastern European countries.

"Serbia and its neighbours are important for China. It is a good channel for China to enter the whole of Europe through these China-friendly East and South European countries," said Dragon Trailovic, from University of Belgrade.

Serbia became China's first strategic partner in 2009.

Both countries are working closely to integrate China's Belt and Road Initiative with Serbia's re-industrialization strategy.

They signed a memorandum to tap potential on cooperation in energy, finance, telecommunications and agriculture.

"China is the fourth largest source of imports. China now has a lot of infrastructure projects in Serbia like bridges, expressways and power stations," said Trailovic.

Meanwhile, China and Serbia are all peace loving nations.

Last year, Serbia's army took part in China's military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory over facism.

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