Chinese PM declared honorary citizen of Belgrade

The Belgrade city assembly on Friday declared Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang a honorary citizen of the Serbian capital.

Source: Tanjug
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All parties represented in the assembly supported the motion. Li Keqiang will visit Belgrade in mid-December to attend a South-East Europe-China summit.

Mayor Siniša Mali presented the proposal today and said the Chinese premier was giving great support to the affirmation of Belgrade, and to the development and improvement of cooperation and relations between Serbia and China.

"It is a great honor and pleasure to propose that China's Premier Li Keqiang be made a honorary citizen of Belgrade. He is giving great personal contribution and support to the city of Belgrade," said Mali.

He noted that the new bridge over the Danube, Pupin's Bridge connecting Borča and Zemun, will be opened by the end of December, and that the financing came from the Chinese government.

"We are also witnesses to his political support considering that Belgrade will host the summit of 16 countries of South-Eastern Europe at his initiative, which will be an exceptional opportunity for Belgrade and Serbia to promote themselves as the region's center when it comes to political and economic activity," the mayor stressed.

He also reminded the councilors that Belgrade and Beijing will in 2015 mark 35 years of cooperation.

The decision to declare the Chinese premier Belgrade's honorary citizen also mentions that China was the guest of honor country during the International Book Fair this year, and that Serbia will have the same role in Beijing's Book Fair next year.

Head of the Democratic Party (DS) councilor group Balša Božović said the move was "a big thing," and added it was "very important to strengthen the cooperation between Serbia and China."

Božović noted that Li will be the first prime minister visiting Serbia in 28 years when he arrives here in December, and that it was "good that the direction of cooperation between the two countries has been continued."

He mentioned the importance of the new bridge, adding that it was "the biggest infrastructural investment in Serbia" that will have an impact on the city, and described it as "much more important than political bickering."

"It is very important that the announced Chinese investments are realized," Božović stressed.

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