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Xi Calls for Stronger China-CEE Ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade to promote bilateral pragmatic cooperation and the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). 

Earlier, Xi and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic signed a joint statement to lift bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Xi told Vucic that the decision will inject fresh impetus into China-Serbia pragmatic cooperation and promote bilateral ties to a new stage.

Under the new situation, China-Serbia cooperation has a broader prospect, according to the Chinese president.

He called on the two sides to steadily push forward cooperation in major infrastructure projects, noting that China is willing to work with Serbia to put the Hungary-Serbia railway into operation at an early date.

The two countries should accelerate the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative and Serbia's national development strategy, Xi said, calling on both sides to make sure the Smederevo steel mill deal and other major projects perform as expected so as to create more jobs, improve people's livelihood, promote Serbia's economic growth and achieve win-win results.

The president also urged the two sides to expand cooperation in trade, finance, customs, taxation, science and technology, culture, people-to-people exchanges and other areas.

The cooperation between China and the CEE has maintained a rapid growth and entered a harvest time, said Xi, calling on both sides to build the CEE into a priority area of China-Europe partnership.

China is ready to work with Serbia to promote the smooth development of the China-CEE cooperation at a higher level, said Xi.

For his part, Vucic said that it is in line with the interests of both peoples to deepen bilateral traditional friendship, political mutual trust, mutually beneficial cooperation in a comprehensive way.

The Serbian Government attaches great importance to the ties with China, the prime minister said, stressing the country is committed to expanding cooperation with China in wider areas.

Serbia welcomes more investment from China and is willing to join hands with China to reap harvests of major projects at an early date, said Vucic.

All members of the Serbian cabinet participated in the meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2016)

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