Hope to visit China every year: Serbian President
By Song Haoxin, Sun Chao from People’s Daily
Serbia is willing to further consolidate ties with China within the framework of “Belt and Road” initiative as well as the “16+1 cooperation”, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić told the People’s Daily in a recent interview, expressing a hope that he could visit China every year.
Describing the Chinese visit as a call on old friend, Nikolić, who is now on a state visit to China, said that he has promised to Chinese President Xi Jinping that if possible, he would visit China every year.
The ongoing state visit is his third Chinese trip. The president said that today’s China, just like the wheat in early spring, is growing sturdily.
“I was impressed by China’s rapid progress in politics, economy, culture, society and all other aspects each time when I visited the country,” he explained.
Located in central-northern part of the Balkan Peninsula, Serbia has been placing emphasis on its profound friendship with China.
After both countries uplifted their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership during Xi’s successful Serbian visit in June, 2016, their agreement on a mutual visa-free regime came into effect this January. Bilateral pragmatic collaboration is moving into top gear as well.
Nikolić listed the “Belt and Road” initiative as a focus of bilateral cooperation. He explained that his country is willing to be the best bridge linking China and Europe by utilizing its favorable geographic location, highly-efficient manufacturing, qualified labors and investment-friendly business environment.
Serbia stands ready to deepen cooperation and cement relations with China within the framework of “Belt and Road” initiative as well as the “16+1 cooperation” between China and the Central and Eastern European countries, he pledged.
The president also believed that Serbia may grow into a hub for regional economy, trade and flow of commodities after the blueprint on “Belt and Road” comes into full swing.
The containers, after arriving at Piraeus Port of Greece by sea, can be transported to Central and Eastern European region via the railway connecting Belgrade, capital of Serbia and Budapest, the capital of Hungary, he elaborated, adding that it of great significance to regional transportation network.
Talking about the “Belt and Road” forum for international cooperation to be hosted by Beijing this May, Nikolić told the People’s Daily that giving importance to this forum, Serbia will send a high-level delegation to the event.