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Vice-premier meets Serbian PM on advancing pragmatic cooperation

Updated: Jun 25,2015 9:17 AM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (L) shakes hands with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, June 24. [Photo/Xinhua]

BELGRADE — Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on June 24 vowed to advance pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.

They made the remarks during a meeting in Belgrade.

Zhang conveyed Premier Li Keqiang’s regards to Vucic. He said China and Serbia are good friends and partners, adding that China has always adopted a strategic and long-term perspective on bilateral relations.

Vucic asked Zhang to convey his greetings and best wishes to Premier Li, saying the people of Serbia cherish true, friendly feelings toward China. He said remarkable growth of bilateral relations and deepening cooperation over the past few years have benefited people of both countries.

Zhang said China is ready to work with Serbia to implement the cooperation projects that both countries’ premiers decided during Premier Li’s visit to Serbia at the end of last year and achieve mutually beneficial results.

Zhang said the two sides should steadily advance their cooperation on the construction of the Hungary-Serbia railway and other major projects in the areas of infrastructure development.

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli holds talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, June 24, 2015.

The two countries should further tap into the potential of cooperation on manufacturing capacity and investment by advancing the construction of China-Serbia economic and technological park, Kostolac power station and other projects, he said.

Zhang called on the two sides to expand trade of farm produce, saying that China is ready to import more marketable, specialty products from Serbia.

He said the two countries should also strengthen financial cooperation and encourage their companies to explore flexible and diversified mode of cooperation and financing.

Moreover, Zhang urged both countries to further enhance people-to-people exchanges by setting up culture centers in each other’s country, deepening cooperation on education, sports and tourism, and offering convenience on visa issuance.

Zhang pointed out that the success of the Belgrade meeting between the leaders of China and the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) last year has laid a solid foundation for deepening China-CEEC cooperation, or the “16 plus 1 cooperation”.

He called for the two sides to implement the results of the meeting and create a new situation for the “16 plus 1 cooperation”.

Noting that China will host the fourth China-CEEC leaders meeting in Beijing later this year, Zhang welcomes Vucic to China to attend the meeting.

Vucic said he looks forward to attending the meeting in China later this year. He said Serbia is ready to take an active part in the construction of the Belt and Road. He welcomes Chinese companies to invest and set up operations in Serbia, saying Serbia will continue to strengthen cooperation with China in the areas of railway, highway, power station, farm produce trade, energy and tourism.

Serbia is the third leg of Vice-Premier Zhang’s four-nation trip. He concluded the visit to Serbia and left for Kazakhstan on June 24.