New expressway in Serbia being built by China’s infrastructure giant
Published: Mar 21, 2022 04:06 PM
Photo taken on March 25, 2021 shows the construction site of the Belgrade-Budapest high-speed railway in Belgrade, Serbia.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on March 25, 2021 shows the construction site of the Belgrade-Budapest high-speed railway in Belgrade, Serbia.Photo:Xinhua

Officials from China and Serbia held a ceremony on Sunday to celebrate the start of construction of a section of the E763 Expressway in Serbia, which is being built by a Chinese state-owned infrastructure company, one day after the Belgrade-Novi Sad section of the Hungary-Serbia Railway became operational.

According to an article released by China's Embassy in Serbia, the section between Po?ega and Duga Poljana, being constructed by the China Road & Bridge Corp (CRBC) under China Communications Construction, is the largest infrastructure project in southern Serbia. It runs through the south-central part of the country, covering a length of 75 kilometers, of which 51 kilometers consists of bridges and tunnels. 

In the future, the section will be extended southward to connect a highway that links with Montenegro.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the construction of the section, consisting of many bridges and tunnels, is extremely difficult. Thanks to Serbia's "hardcore friend" China and Chinese companies, the expressway will become a reality, which will greatly boost the local economic recovery and improve residents' lives alongside the section, Vucic noted.

Entering the new year, China has accelerated infrastructure construction in Serbia. 

On Saturday, the Belgrade-Novi Sad section of the Belgrade-Budapest Railway, a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), went into operation. 

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that the continuous progress of the Hungary-Serbia Railway is conducive to enhancing the passenger and cargo transportation capacity of local railroads, facilitating the travel of residents, and promoting the development of tourism and urbanization along the route.

Wang noted that the railway is an open, win-win project featuring mutually beneficial cooperation, and the whole process of the construction is in accordance with the EU laws and regulations.

China welcomes all parties to participate in BRI cooperation and contribute to the improvement of connectivity among countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Wang said.

In addition to the start of operation of the eye-catching railway, Serbia signed a contract on the same day with CRBC for the construction of a bridge over the Danube and a linking road in Novi Sad, the second-largest city in the country. 

The 4.44-kilometer project with a designed speed of 80 kilometers per hour will help relieve local traffic pressure and promote local economic development.

Tian Yishu, chargé d'affaires of China's Embassy in Serbia, said that the project reflects the firm will of both nations to continue strengthening practical cooperation in many fields, and China is willing to deepen bilateral cooperation to achieve more results for the benefit of the two peoples.