Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 6, 2023. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday afternoon met with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
Xi said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic's attendance at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China and Brnabic's attendance at the sixth China International Import Expo demonstrated Serbia's sincere friendship with the Chinese people and firm belief in developing relations with China.
China and Serbia are "iron friends" who have stood together through thick and thin, Xi said, underscoring the profound historical foundation, solid public support, extensive common interests and strong impetus for cooperation of their bilateral relations.
He said that in recent years, China-Serbia relations had continued to operate at a high level, the connotation of the comprehensive strategic partnership had been increasingly enriched, and practical cooperation had yielded fruitful results.
Under the new circumstances, China is willing to work with Serbia to promote the high-quality development of bilateral relations and bring more benefits to the two peoples, Xi noted.
He called on the two sides to make joint efforts to build and operate major cooperation projects, promote the early entry into force of the China-Serbia free trade agreement, strengthen cooperation in science and technology innovation, deepen cooperation in education, sports and tourism, expand personnel exchanges, and inherit and carry forward China-Serbia friendship.
China supports Serbia in pursuing an independent development path, and stands ready to strengthen multilateral coordination with Serbia and jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, Xi stressed.
Brnabic said that China had become Serbia's largest investment partner, and bilateral cooperation projects had changed the face of Serbia's national development. The conclusion of the free trade agreement between the two countries in half a year fully demonstrates the firm determination of both sides to further deepen relations.
China has always supported Serbia in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, for which the Serbian people are deeply grateful, Brnabic said, noting that Serbia firmly adheres to the one-China policy and looks forward to continuing mutual support with China, continuously advancing the joint building of the Belt and Road and deepening cooperation in science and technology innovation, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and other fields.