BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Belgrade on Dec 15 to attend the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, and to pay an official visit to Serbia intended to strengthen bilateral relations.
Serbia has enjoyed a profound traditional friendship with China and has played a decisive role in China-CEE relations.
The following are major events in China-Serbia relations in recent years.
On Aug 19-25, 2009, then Serbian president Boris Tadic paid a weeklong state visit to China, the first of its kind by a Serbian head of state since the country’s independence in June 2006.
In a bid to lift bilateral ties to a new height, the two countries issued a joint statement, announcing the establishment of a strategic partnership, making Serbia the first CEE country to do so with China.
On June 25, 2010, then premier Wen Jiabao met then Serbian prime minister Mirko Cvetkovic in Hangzhou in China’s Zhejiang province, as Cvetkovic was on a five-day working visit to China as guest of Wen.
During their meeting, the two sides vowed to constantly enrich and deepen the bilateral strategic partnership.
On May 4, 2011, then foreign minister Yang Jiechi and then Serbian president Boris Tadic agreed in Belgrade to enhance the strategic partnership between the two nations and strengthen bilateral cooperation in both scope and quality.
On April 26, 2012, then premier Wen Jiabao met Cvetkovic on the sidelines of a Chinese and central and east European leaders’ meeting in Warsaw.
During the meeting, Wen said that China was ready to offer help to Serbia in planning its economic and technological development park, improving industrial competitiveness and boosting exports, while Cvetkovic said Serbia would work to further promote bilateral cooperation with China.
On Aug 26, 2013, President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic in Beijing where the two presidents exchanged in-depth views on cooperation
The two sides signed a joint statement on deepening the China-Serbia strategic partnership and also agreed to expand scale of trade and investment, and enhance cooperation on infrastructure construction, agriculture, energy, information industry, automobile industry and science and technology.