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China to strengthen partnership with Serbia


06-16-2016 12:18 BJT

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China's President Xi Jinping is set to begin a three-day visit to Serbia. This will mark the first state visit to the country by China's top leader since Serbia gained independence. The country's Deputy Prime Minister, who is also its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dacic tells CCTV that China-Serbia ties have been growing during their long-term friendship.

China and Serbia have long held a strategic partnership. The upcoming visit of President Xi will mark the beginning of more comprehensive bilateral ties between the two nations.

"It is Serbia's honor to become China's strategic partner. In many ways Serbia cannot be named in the same way with China, but our friendship is incomparable. This is proved through years of experience. We will move a step further to upgrade our relationship. This is important to both Serbia and China. President Xi's visit will be a symbolic moment in our strategic relationship," Dacic said.

Dacic says Serbia is China's most reliable partner in Southeastern Europe, and maybe in all of Europe. People from the two countries have had a long history of working together. Both China and Serbia insist on having an independent and peaceful diplomatic policy. On the international stage, they believe in peaceful development. On issues concerning state sovereignty, both countries hold firm to protect every inch of land.

"We both have a deep understanding on sovereignty. We thank the Chinese government's support to Serbia regarding Kosovo. At the same time, the Serbian government and people will not change their stance on the 'One China' claim," Dacic said.

China backs Serbia's position regarding Kosovo. China always believes that a plan acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo through negotiations is the best way to resolve this issue. China is calling upon Serbia and Kosovo to continue negotiations for a proper resolution to safeguard peace and stability of the Balkan region.

"We have been proud to tell others that the Serbian people are Chinese people's friends. This is well-known on the international stage. Our country is small. China has 1.3 billion people, while we only have 10 million. But we have a great potential for further cooperation," Dacic said.

The People's Republic of China is the most important trading partner for the Republic of Serbia in Asia. More economic cooperation will help provide a brighter future for both sides.

"I hope we can work together in more areas, like culture, education, science, sports and in the medical field. But the most important is economy. President Xi's visit shows that China values working with Serbia. During his visit, there will be more contracts signed. We will release a joint declaration, and our relations will upgrade into a comprehensive strategic partnership. Let's look forward to it," Dacic said.

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