Top Chinese parliament official visiting Serbia
PM Ana Brnabic received on Monday Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China.Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
According to remarks published by the Serbian government, they said that friendship between Serbia and China was "the basis for successful cooperation on current and future projects of the two countries."
Brnabic and Zhang "pointed to the fact that Serbia and China have entered into a new dynamic of relations in recent years, but that there is room for further improvement, both at the political level and in the fields of agriculture, tourism and culture."
Brnabic said that joint projects in energy infrastructure were of great importance, "such as the construction of TPP Kostolac, as well as traffic projects that are invaluable not only for Serbia, but for the entire region of Southeast Europe."
She "emphasized the importance of introducing the direct Belgrade-Beijing route and promised the support of the Serbian government in the construction of the Chinese Cultural Center in Belgrade."
Zhang "confirmed that China will continue to support Serbia in international relations and will encourage its companies to continue investing in our country," while Brnabic "stressed that it is significant that after so many years of cooperation, Serbia and China continue to share the same values, and expressed appreciation for the efforts that China invests in implementing projects important not only for Serbia and the region, but for the entire European Union."
Also on Monday in Belgrade, the high-ranking Chinese official addressed a special session of the Serbian National Assembly, to say that China's Belt and Road initiative was "turning from an idea into reality."
China is ready to get Serbia involved in the entire project, he said, and added:
"The Belt and Road initiative originated in China, but China is ready to get Serbia involved along with everyone else to jointly encourage new results in the building of the Belt and Road."
During the session attended, among others, by PM Brnabic, Zhang, said that he "sincerely hopes that Serbia will become a member of the European family as soon as possible," and described it as the first country in the region that has achieved strategic partnership with China.
According to him, this opened a new historical chapter of friendly cooperation between the two countries.
Zhang also called for "together building a bright future and a strategic partnership between China and Serbia."
Speaking about the long-standing traditional friendship between the two countries, Zhang said that the political relations between Serbia and China are at a very high level.
"The Chinese side will support the path that the people of Serbia have chosen, as well as Serbia's efforts to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia," he said.
On Sunday, Zhang and Serbian Assembly President Maja Gojkovic signed a memorandum of understanding, stressing that the document represented a new phase of cooperation and more proof of the two nations' "friendship of steel."
Gojkovic told reporters that both officials had agreed that bilateral relations were very good and had been at a historical high for the past few years.
She said she and Zhang had discussed all aspects of cooperation, possibilities of improving it and the goals of inter-parliamentary cooperation.
The goal, Gojkovic said, is to monitor the implementation of deals between the two countries' leaderships within the Belt and Road initiative and the China-Central East European countries forum and the execution of all projects agreed at this level of authority.
Zhang said the National People's Congress was ready to invest additional effort with the Serbian parliament into carrying out important consensuses between the two countries' leaders.
Zhang, who arrived to Serbia for this official visit at the invitation of Gojkovic, paid his respects to the Chinese embassy workers killed in NATO's bombing of Belgrade in 1999 and laid a wreath at a monument marking the event, Beta has reported.