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Vučić Tells Xi, ‘Nowhere Will You Meet Such Respect and Love as Here in Serbia’

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Belgrade to a warm welcome yesterday, where he met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and other top officials. The May 7-8 visit began with a welcoming ceremony at the airport led by Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic and Parliament Speaker Ana Brnabic. The Chinese delegation includes some 400 people. A festive dinner featured Serbian dishes, wine, and a music in Serbian and Chinese.

President Vučić said: “I told President Xi that, as the leader of a great power, he will be met with respect and admiration everywhere in the world, but nowhere will he meet such respect and such love as here in Serbia.”

For his part, Xi said, “I felt the strong friendship of the Serbian people.” He told Vučić: “You are an exceptional statesman with a strategic vision, with a sense of historical responsibility. Under your leadership, Serbia maintained stability, achieved rapid economic development, and people’s living standards and lives improved.”

During their talks Vučić said, “Great progress awaits us in our cooperation, which we raise from the level of strategic partnership to a shared future.” He added that they discussed the free trade agreement with China, industry, science, innovation, artificial intelligence, cooperation in the military field, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, culture, education, health, and air transportation.

Xi’s state visit took place on the 25th anniversary of NATO’s bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 with U.S. cruise missiles. Ahead of his current visit, Xi pointed out in his article for Politika that China would not forget the attack on its Belgrade embassy that killed three Chinese journalists: “The China-Serbia friendship, forged with the blood of our compatriots, will stay in the shared memory of the Chinese and Serbian peoples, and will inspire us to march forward with big strides.”