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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, elbow bumps with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic aft a quality league astatine the Serbia Palace successful Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. Wang Yi is connected a two-day authoritative sojourn to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
BELGRADE – Serbian officials praised their “steel friendship” with China during talks connected Thursday with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi amid fears successful the West that by heavy investing successful the Balkan state, Beijing is trying to exert its governmental power successful that portion of Europe.
Serbia, a European Union campaigner country, and China person rapidly intensified economical and governmental relations successful caller years, with Chinese companies taking implicit Serbia’s main copper and alloy mills and gathering roads, factories and railway lines.
Chinese authorities banks person granted billions of dollars successful loans to the Balkan state for the operation projects that are mostly conducted by Chinese workers.
China, which considers Serbia a large introduction constituent to Europe for its Belt and Road economical and governmental initiative, has besides been exporting drones and different subject instrumentality to Serbia, arsenic good arsenic expanding constabulary and authorities information cooperation.
Between 2005 and 2019, China is estimated to person invested astir $10 cardinal successful Serbia.
“In the governmental sphere, we don’t person immoderate unfastened issues,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told Wang astatine the opening of their gathering successful Belgrade. “We person precise bully practice betwixt our countries and we privation to bring it to a higher level if possible.”
“Our relationship is honorable and large and nary wonderment we telephone it ‘steel,’” Vucic said, adding that the economical practice accrued threefold successful the past 5 years.
China bought Serbia's lone alloy mill successful 2016 and some sides person often described their relations arsenic relationship of steel.
Wang said Thursday that the affable relations betwixt China and overmuch smaller Serbia are based connected equality and are sincere. “We are precise arrogant of the improvement of our relations,” helium said.
There is disapproval successful the West and among Serbia’s absorption groups that galore of the operation deals betwixt Serbia and China are done successful an nontransparent manner, without due tenders oregon details astir the costs.
Also, environmentalists person warned that ember powered plants operated by Chinese companies successful Serbia bash not conscionable planetary greenhouse emissions standards, further contributing to Serbia becoming 1 of the astir polluted states successful Europe.
Although formally seeking EU membership, the populist Serbian president has been forging adjacent political, economical and subject ties with some China and Russia.
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