Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic delivers a speech during a tour of the construction site of the E763 highway in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 3, 2019. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said here on Friday that Serbia will continue its fruitful cooperation with China. He made the remarks while touring a nearly finished highway section in the town of Obrenovac, Belgrade together with the Chinese Ambassador Chen Bo. (Xinhua/Shi Zhongyu)
OBRENOVAC, Serbia, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said here on Friday that Serbia will continue its fruitful cooperation with China.
He made the remarks while touring a nearly finished highway section in the town of Obrenovac, Belgrade together with the Chinese Ambassador Chen Bo.
During their visit to a bridge over the Sava river at the Surcin-Obrenovac section of the new E763 highway, Vucic expressed satisfaction with the progress of the main contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and local contractors.
He said he had agreed with CRBC that this 17.6-kilometer section will be completed before the end of the year, which will create a 150-kilometer highway link between the capital and the city of Cacak in the southwest.
Vucic said Serbia will continue to cooperate with China on other sections of the highway that will connect Cacak further with the Montenegrin border. He recalled that the country had recently signed an agreement with Exim bank for the construction of the Preljina-Pozega section, which will cost around 450 million euros (about 503 million U.S. dollars).
He refuted claims heard in other countries that such cooperation with China has a negative effect on public debt, emphasizing that Serbia pursues a responsible policy and harmonizes public spending with its growth.
Vucic said that Serbia opposes the protectionist approach of the European Union and the United States, and invited Chinese companies to join the HBIS Group Co., Ltd. the Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd and Shandong Linglong Tire Co.. Ltd, which have already made significant investments here.
"Small as we are, we will take no part in protectionism and this is why our Chinese friends and all others can count on us ... Serbia will continue to pursue its membership of the European Union, but with full protection of its national interests which are: a true, open and great friendship with China, Russia and many other countries," he explained.
"I trust your country and your leadership, and I put immense hopes in our cooperation...I wish to thank you for everything that you have done for our country," Vucic told Ambassador Chen Bo.
In a Q&A with the journalists, the Chinese ambassador said: "Serbia is the most influential country in the region and Chinese businessmen feel that the business environment here is good... And people here have a friendly feeling towards Chinese people, which is very important for businesses."