Xi, Vucic meet during Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, underline ‘iron-clad’ friendship
Published: Feb 05, 2022 05:32 PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 5, 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 5, 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Beijing on Saturday, and the two leaders highly spoke of the "iron-clad" friendship between the two countries, which is considered as a model for international relations. During the meeting, the Chinese leader expressed continued support for Serbia on vaccine production, multilateral cooperation and Belt and Road projects. 

Xi welcomed Vucic to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday morning.

Xi pointed out that China and Serbia are "iron-clad friends," noting the two countries share a high level of political mutual trust and that the bilateral relationship has endured many challenges and become a model for international ties.

In recent years, the relationship between the two countries has achieved leapfrog development and the two sides have implemented a number of important cooperation projects in the fields of infrastructure, energy and production capacity, leading Central and Eastern European countries. 

After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, China and Serbia have helped and supported each other, continuing to write new chapters for the friendship and leaving beautiful memories in the hearts of the peoples of the two countries.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, China has provided Serbia with masks, ventilators, medical supplies, and then vaccines to help the Balkan country combat the pandemic. Vucic himself received the injection of China's Sinopharm vaccine in last April. This iron-clad friendship has even grown stronger during the pandemic. 

Xi stressed that in the face of the changes in this century and the pandemic, the two sides should view China-Serbia relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, insist and develop China-Serbia friendship, and firmly support each other's fundamental and long-term interests. China firmly supports the development path chosen by the Serbian people. 

The two sides should strengthen strategic alignment, jointly build the Belt and Road initiative through high quality projects and promote cooperation projects to transform the traditional friendship between China and Serbia into more practical results.

China will continue to provide support to Serbia in its fight against the pandemic and strengthen cooperation in joint vaccine production and resumption of production, Xi said.

China is willing to, together with Serbia, strengthen international cooperation in multilateral fields, jointly safeguard the international order, safeguard the basic norms of international relations and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi noted.

Vucic praised the opening ceremony on Friday night, saying that the entire audience enjoyed this visual feast. 

"Thanks to the thoughtful and warm reception from the Chinese side. We deeply appreciate the sincerity and friendliness of the Chinese people," he said.

Vucic noted that since President Xi visited Serbia in 2016, bilateral trade has tripled and the Budapest-Belgrade railway has achieved positive results. Serbia's economic growth rate has been among the best in Europe for years.

Serbia is China's true friend. Serbia respects China and admires China's great leadership. No pressure or difficulties will change the steely friendship between Serbia and China, Vucic said.

He also noted that Serbia will always stand firmly with the Chinese people on issues concerning China's core interests such as matters involving Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region or the island of Taiwan.

Vucic also welcomed President Xi to visit Serbia as soon as possible after the pandemic.