Home > Opinions > Contents

Guest Opinion: The new phase of Serbia-China relations

Updated: May 3, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
fontLarger fontSmaller

by Ivona Ladjevac

"Ironclad friendship" vividly summarizes Serbia-China relations characterized by mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

The two countries have achieved fruitful results through mutually beneficial cooperation in infrastructure, economy and trade, culture, scientific research and other fields.

The Belt and Road cooperation has provided Serbia important opportunities to strengthen connectivity and promote economic development with neighboring countries. Key infrastructure projects such as the Belgrade-Budapest Railway and the E763 highway have enhanced Serbia's status as a regional transportation hub.

Regarding capacity cooperation, projects like the Kostolac Power Plant have contributed to Serbia's energy security and sustainable development. HBIS Serbia and Hisense Group's plant in Valjevo have not only created jobs and promoted balanced development in various regions but also introduced advanced technology and drove the overall upgrade of the local industrial chain, which is significant to Serbia's economic transformation.

During the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in October 2023, Serbia and China signed a free trade agreement to promote investment flows and provide new impetus for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

At the end of 2023, the central banks of Serbia and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing yuan clearing arrangements in Serbia. This arrangement is conducive to Serbian and Chinese enterprises and financial institutions using yuan for cross-border transactions and further promotes bilateral trade and investment facilitation.

The two sides are jointly developing the Serbia-China Industrial Park, which is expected to bolster Serbia's manufacturing and technology.

Serbia and China have similar outlooks on green development and are working together to create a cleaner future. Wind power, photovoltaic and other projects invested and built by Chinese companies have brought clean energy to Serbia, helping Serbia toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

The "Clean Serbia" project, in which Chinese companies participate, involves building municipal sewage pipe networks and sewage treatment plants in many parts of Serbia. This will provide a cleaner and healthier living environment for millions of residents.

Serbia and China also actively promote exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations, deepening mutual understanding and appreciation. The two countries have signed several MoUs in the fields of education, cultural relics protection, and scientific and technological innovation, among others.

Rich and colorful cultural performances have built a bridge for people-to-people exchanges. The Confucius Institute and the Chinese Cultural Center in Belgrade have become critical windows for the Serbian people to understand Chinese culture. The visa-free policy and the opening of direct flights have facilitated personnel exchanges between the two countries, and Serbia has become an increasingly popular tourist destination for Chinese tourists.

The mutually beneficial cooperation between Serbia and China has yielded tangible results, which is significant for both countries in coping with global challenges and achieving common prosperity.

President Xi Jinping is about to pay his second state visit to Serbia, further facilitating mutually beneficial cooperation. The future is promising for Serbia-China relations.

Editor's note: Ivona Ladjevac is the deputy director of the Serbian Institute of International Politics and Economics.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Xinhua News Agency.

Editor: Li Shimeng