Thursday, 14 March 2013. PDF Print E-mail
Assistant Foreign Minister Goran Aleksic on Serbia-China cooperation, an interview for Chinese Radio International (CRI)
+ larger fontnormal font- Smaller font

The current annual session of the Chinese Parliament will elect the new leadership of China. What impact will the change of guard in China have on the development of relations and cooperation with Serbia in the future?

We believe that the Sino-Serbian cooperation will continue to have an upward trend in all areas even after the election of new leadership in China, and that the coming period will see continued successful implementation of initiated projects and the development of a series of new ones. Sino-Serbian relations are characterized by their traditional friendship and deep mutual confidence and understanding, as evidenced also by their strategic partnership established in August 2009. Serbia sees in China an attested friend and strategic partner with which it maintains close cooperation and enjoys reciprocal support on the most important issues, as proven even at the most difficult moments in its more recent past. We greatly appreciate Chinese support for the preservation of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and our positions regarding Kosovo and Metohija. On its part, it fully supports the policy of One China. We stand ready to work together with the new Chinese leadership to further intensify our dialogue and promote our relations and concrete cooperation in all areas, in the period ahead. The highest-ranking Chinese leaders have open-ended invitations to visit Serbia, and we are hopeful that some of these visits will take place soon.

In many interviews with CRI, our interviewees like Government officials or Serbian diplomats assigned in China have said that China, with its fast-paced and steady economic development may be a great chance for Serbia. How will Serbia seize this chance for enhancing their cooperation?

An accelerated and steady growth of China has had a positive impact on the economic growth of the rest of the world and will increasingly provide the main momentum for the development of the whole mankind. In the past period, China has turned into a leading world economy, not only in terms that it continues to attract foreign investments but also in terms that it is a large investor itself in the world. Bearing in mind the achieved level of its cooperation with China, and the geography and the potential that it has, Serbia can be attractive for investors coming from China. In the same period, we have embarked upon the implementation of a number of large projects in infrastructure and energy sectors with our Chinese partners, such as the construction of the Zemun-Borca Bridge and the revitalization of the Thermal Power Plant Kostolac, projects worth a few hundred million US dollars. We expect that our cooperation with the Chinese on building a section of the Corridor XI motorway, on the Morava Corridor (motorway connecting Pojate and Preljina), Novi Sad - Ruma motorway, the new TPP Kosotolac block, etc. will be initiated soon. Discussions are also underway on some other projects of interest and importance to Serbia. Furthermore, there is also an interest in the cooperation in culture, education, science, sports and tourism where there exist significant potentials. Many of the projects in these fields will be implemented through a cooperative mechanism established between China with Central and Eastern European countries last year. We believe that in all these efforts, we will have the full support of the new Chinese leadership.

One of the very important issues on the agenda of this year's session of the Chinese Parliament is institutional reform and transformation of the functions exercised by the Chinese Government, with the debate focusing on the adjustment and fusion of many governmental bodies. What is the significance of this action?

This first session of the 12th China National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (PCC) have obviously received extensive public attention in the world, what with the expected election of a new state leadership, and the very important agenda items discussed there. The agenda includes institutional reform through changes in the structure and powers vested in the institutions of the state. These steps are, no doubt, of great importance and are aimed at improving the efficiency and further consolidation of the basis for the continuation of reforms in China, including sustaining of the accelerated and stable economic development of this country.