Chinese President arrives in Serbia

The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, arrived in Serbia on Tuesday evening.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan landed at the Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport at around 9.45 pm. The red carpet was rolled out for them and the Serbian Army guard of honour was lined up at the airport in their honour.

They were greeted at the airport by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and his wife Tamara, President of the National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China Tomislav Nikolic, Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic, Foreign Minister Marko Djuric and Serbian Parliament speaker Ana Brnabic.

The delegation also included Serbian Ambassador to China Maja Stefanovic and Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Ming with his wife.

Upon entering Serbian airspace, Xi’s plane was escorted by MiG-29 fighters.

Dozens of Chinese people gathered outside the airport building to welcome their president, waving Chinese and Serbian flags and singing.

A ceremonial welcome will be staged in front of the Palace of Serbia in Novi Beograd today, followed by Xi’s meeting with Vucic, a plenary meeting of the delegations and the signing of a joint statement and exchange of bilateral documents.

The Serbian Government adopted on Tuesday several documents – memorandums of understanding on cooperation and protocols between Serbia and China in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, information and telecommunications and tourism.

The first leg of Xi’s visit in France saw meetings with Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urging Xi not to allow the export of any technology that could be used by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine and to do all it could to end the war.

Xi for his part warned the West not to “smear” China over the conflict and also hit back at accusations that Chinese overcapacity was causing global trade imbalances.

Europe is concerned that while officially neutral over the Ukraine conflict, China is essentially backing Russia, which is using Chinese machine tools in arms production.

After meeting with Vucic, Xi will go to Hungary, where China has invested heavily in vast battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plants.

(BBC Serbia, Beta, 08.05.2024)

Photo credits: Dimitrije Goll/AFP

This post is also available in: Italiano

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