Serbian president meets with Chinese defense minister
Updated: March 27, 2021 19:55 Xinhua

BELGRADE — Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe in Belgrade on March 26.

Noting China is Serbia's most trustworthy friend, Vucic said that the destiny and future of Serbia and China are interlocked.

He expressed his gratitude to President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government as well as the Chinese people for their valuable support to Serbia in safeguarding national security, accelerating economic development, and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Serbia firmly supports China's stance on issues concerning its core interests, including affairs related to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Xinjiang, and supports the Belt and Road Initiative, Vucic said.

Serbia is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields, including military cooperation, and elevate the relations between the two countries to a new level, the Serbian president said.

During the meeting, Wei introduced China's recently-concluded "two sessions" and achievements in economic and social development.

Wei emphasized that China and Serbia enjoy a deep traditional friendship, and the two countries are true "iron friends."

Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, the China-Serbia comprehensive strategic partnership has been developing at a high level, he said.

Expressing gratitude to Serbia for firmly supporting China's core interests, Wei said that China also fully supports Serbia's path of independence.

Wei said that the Chinese army is willing to expand military exchanges and cooperation with Serbia and to advance bilateral military ties.

Wei added that he paid homage to the martyrs killed in the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999.

He said that the Chinese people will never forget the history and the Chinese military will never allow such history to repeat itself.

China is fully capable and determined to defend its national sovereignty, security, and development interests, he said.

After the meeting, Vucic and Wei watched a military drill by some Serbian armed forces units.

Wei on March 26 also held talks with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.

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