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China, Serbia forge strategic partnership
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-08-21 07:18
Chinese President Hu Jintao and Serbian President Boris Tadic on Thursday agreed to establish a strategic partnership between the two countries.

During their talks held Thursday afternoon, the two heads of state exchanged views on building and developing a strategic partnership and reached a broad consensus.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Serbian President Boris Tadic on Thursday agreed to establish a strategic partnership between the two countries.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) welcomes visiting Serbian President Boris Tadic in Beijing, capital of China, on Aug. 20, 2009.(Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

Hu highly valued Chinese relations with Serbia, saying the two peoples have traditional friendship and no matter what happened in the world, the relations between the two countries have developed healthily.

He put forward four points on how to develop the strategic relationship:

First, to have more political exchanges. He said the two sides should maintain high-level exchanges, promote inter-governmental, inter-parliamentary and inter-party exchanges and cooperation.

Secondly, to enlarge economic and trade exchanges. Hu said China is willing to enhance cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, petrochemicals, energy, and high-technology.

Thirdly, to enhance human-to-human cooperation in cultural, educational, sports, science and technology, and encourage the youths, non-governmental groups and local governments to carry out more exchange activities.

Fourthly, to strengthen multilateral cooperation. Hu suggested that the two countries should maintain contacts and consultation in United Nations and other multilateral organizations and exchange views on major international and regional issues.

Tadic said the relationship with China has a solid foundation and has developed smoothly.

He said Serbia is willing to maintain all-level exchanges and enhance trust and understanding.

Serbia hopes to discuss how to expand economic cooperation and welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Serbia, he said.

Tadic said Serbia will participate in the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai actively.

After the talks, Hu and Tadic attended the signing ceremony of a joint statement, which announced the establishment of a strategic partnership.

The statement said, "to further promote bilateral relations in an all-round way, the two sides have decided to establish a strategic partnership."

It said, the two stressed that broadening and deepening the traditional friendly relations between China and Serbia is the shared aspiration of the two peoples and is in the fundamental interests of the two countries, and will contribute to promoting harmony around the world.

The statement also touched issues in which each country has an interest such as Taiwan and Kosovo. The statement reaffirmed their respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other's nation.

The two countries also agreed to promote economic cooperation and trade, expand mutual investment and improve the balance of bilateral trade.

Tadic arrived in Beijing early Wednesday for a week-long state visit, the first official visit by a Serbian head of state since Serbia was established as an independent state in 2006.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, in talks with Tadic in the Great Hall of People in Beijing before the signing ceremony, said the visit would lift ties to a new height.

Tadic visited China in 2005 when Serbia was part of a union with Montenegro. He also attended the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympic Games in August 2008 as a guest of the Serbian Olympic Committee.

"Since you took office as Serbian president, you have always valued the China-Serbia relationship and contributed to the development of bilateral ties," said Hu.

Tadic is also scheduled to meet China's top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.

After that, Tadic will visit Shaanxi Province, which hosts Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum and the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, and Shanghai.

China-Serbia trade was valued at 125 million U.S. dollars in the first five months of this year, down 33.1 percent year on year amid the global economic downturn.

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