Chinese ambassador on cooperation, Kosovo, Ukraine

The Chinese government stands by its position that it will not recognize Kosovo, Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Manchang has said.

Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti

"I know that over 100 countries have recognized Kosovo's independence, but the Chinese government stands by its position and has no intention of changing it, Ambassador Li told the Večernje Novosti daily.

China has full understanding for Serbia's positions regarding Kosovo, he said, adding that UNSC Resolution 1244 is the foundation for resolving the issue.

Speaking about the strategic partnership between China and Serbia, he said that major projects serve as a testimony to it, and cited the bridge across the Danube River, the E-763 motorway and the Kostolac power plant as examples.

The long-standing friendship between the two nations was reflected recently by the assistance during the floods in Serbia, the ambassador added.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić's visit to Beijing last year made a contribution to a further strengthening of the strategic partnership, said Li, who noted that he attaches great attention to Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić's upcoming visit to China on September 9-10, and added that he expects much from it.

Speaking about collaborative projects, the ambassador said that the prime ministers of Serbia, China and Hungary have made a declaration of intent to build a railway line from Belgrade to Budapest.

"I now expect a step forward to be made in this regard," Li said.

Asked about when suspected hit-and-run driver Marko Milićev - who is believed to have killed a man with his car in Belgrade and then fled the country, to be arrested in China - might be extradited, the diplomat said:

"I cannot say precisely but the Serbian MUP is in contact with our embassy, and I have a hotline with the minister. We are preparing materials from the Serbian and from the Chinese side. Milićev's stay permit expired, so he is considered to be in China illegally. On the other hand, your police issued a red notice and our police detained him, on an Interpol warrant. For what he did in Belgrade and in China, he is held in detention."

Asked whether the Ukrainian crisis could trigger a major global conflict, Li said that he did not expect that to happen.

"The crisis in Ukraine is a catastrophe reminiscent of the tragedy of the former Yugoslavia. The Chinese government is appealing on all interested parties to solve the crisis as soon as possible through negotiations. When it comes to the hotspots in other regions, the whole world should focus on solving them politically, not by force."

Speaking about China's cooperation with the United States, he said that it was developed, while mutual trust was established:

"There are also differences, but that is normal. We fight against terrorism together and discuss climate changes. Overall, our relations are improving."

The newspaper noted that China was facing separatism as well, and asked the ambassador to comment on his country's response to "the commotion" in Tibet and Xinjiang.

"In our special administrative zone Hong Kong, some foreign forces have or the past several months supported, secretly and publicly, financially and politically, a small portion of the local people so they would cause resistance towards the Hong Kong government reforms, and the central government in Beijing, to create unrest and chaos. The local and the central government are negotiating with these people patiently, but they already have a political background from the West. Besides, in Xinjiang and in Tibet there is ample evidence that western forces are schooling extremists, sending them to our country to commit terrorist attacks," Li was quoted as saying.

Asked whether his country ever received an official explanation from the United States about the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during NATO's 1999 war against Serbia, the diplomat said:

"That event was a precedent in diplomacy and a tragedy for our embassy. In the end we talked with Americans, they paid material damages, a symbolic compensation for the three persons who died. The official explanation remained that the bombing of the embassy was an error, which is not acceptable."


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