BELGRADE, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of Serbia and China laid wreaths on Thursday at the place where U.S.-led NATO forces bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during their 1999 campaign against Yugoslavia killing three Chinese journalists and injuring dozens of people.
Wreaths were laid by the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Manchang, Serbian Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Zoran Djordjevic, and Mayor of Belgrade Sinisa Mali, on the occasion of Tomb Sweeping Day, or the Qingming festival.
After the brief ceremony Li thanked the Serbian government, the city of Belgrade as well as "all Serbian citizens and our friends" in a statement to national broadcaster RTS for "marking the bombing of the Chinese embassy and always standing together with the Chinese people."
On May 7, 1999, U.S.-led NATO forces carried out a barbaric missile attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, which left three journalists dead, more than 20 people injured, and the embassy building severely damaged.
The three victims of the deadly bombing were journalists Shao Yunhuan of Xinhua News Agency, and Xu Xinghu and his wife Zhu Ying of the Guangming Daily newspaper.
Djordjevic said that although many years have passed since the missile attack "we still did not forget what was happening to Serbia back in 1999," adding that Serbian people are eternal friends with the Chinese people because of everything that China has done for Serbia.
Mali said that "our obligation is to pay attention and never forget those that tragically lost their lives in the (1999) bombing campaign".
Unveiling that a Chinese cultural center will be built nearby, he said "in year or a bit more, this will become a symbol of the victory of those that create and look into the future."