"For China, Kosovo is Serbia, and so it shall remain"

Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Manchang has said that as far as Beijing is concerned, Kosovo is Serbia - and that it shall remain that way.

Source: Tanjug
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Li Manchang is seen with Aleksandar Vucic (Tanjug, file)
Li Manchang is seen with Aleksandar Vucic (Tanjug, file)

In an interview for the Belgrade-based tabloid Kurir, Li also said that the Chinese will participate in a tender for the copper mining and smelting complex RTB Bor, located in eastern Serbia, in accordance with the laws of Serbia, and announced new investments in an automotive parts factory.

The ambasador noted that the presidents of Serbia and China, Aleksandar Vucic and Xi Jinping, will have a meeting in China during a gathering known as the Summer Davos.

"The president of Serbia will arrive at the personal invitation of the president of China. President Vucic visited China while he was prime minister, and is welcome now as he has been then, which President Xi wrote in a letter to Vucic. I am certain this will be a successful visit, as the case has always been thus far," the Chinese diplomat said.

Li described relations between our countries "the golden age between Beijing and Belgrade" - something that has not happened before. As for how this came about, Li said there has been traditional, stable, and friendly cooperation between Beijing and Belgrade.

"Throughout history, China has never been on the side that is against Serbia, its interests and its people. We stood with Serbia in the most difficult times, the (Western) sanctions, the bombing...," he said.

As for the Serbian people, the Chinese diplomat said the situation is the same the other way round - i.e., Serbia respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. "Nobody has ever been allowed to do anything against the interests of China on Serbian soil, never! Nobody! The two nations love each other, and the two governments conduct a friendly policy," the ambassador said.

Announcing a major Chinese investment in Serbia - which Vucic also spoke about, but without revealing any details - Li said that nearly 80 percent of preparations for the project have been completed.

"Initially this investment should have been worth 400 million dollars, and now it is probably twice as much. Discussions are underway, the Serbian delegation will soon go to China for talks...", said Li, who did not want to reveal more details. He only said that this concerned production of automotive parts.

When asked "what is happening with RTB Bor," Li said that a Chinese company is interested in cooperating with the complex, and according to him, there is also interest in cooperation in other areas, such as infrastructure.

"As far as Bor is concerned, we respect the law of Serbia, on the basis of which the Chinese company will participate in the tender on an equal footing when it is announced," said the ambassador.

Speaking about Kosovo, Li reiterated that China's position is well known to everyone.

"China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, does not recognize Kosovo. That means that we consider it to be Serbia. The Kosovo issue should be resolved on the basis of Security Council Resolution (1244) and in accordance with important international documents. We support the Belgrade-Pristina talks in order to solve this problem," the diplomat said.

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