The first meeting of the Commission for Cooperation between the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the Chinese National People's Congress, held at the National Assembly, was opened by the Commission co-chairs National Assembly Deputy Speaker Veroljub Arsic and Vice-Chairperson of the Chinese National People's Congress Cao Jianming.
Greeting the attending on the behalf of the National Assembly Speaker, the MPs and himself, Veroljub Arsic said that that the Commission is the highest mode of cooperation with other parliaments that the National Assembly recognizes and it is the natural result of the historic closeness and mutual support between the two countries and their peoples. The political relations between Serbia and China have been raised to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, said Arsic adding that economic and cultural cooperation are not far behind. The fact that Serbia is the only country to have a National Council for Cooperation with China also speaks volumes of the importance it ascribes to the bilateral relations with China. He also said that at the parliamentary level Serbia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Assembly and the Chinese National People's Congress and a Protocol on the establishment of the Commission which opens up room to improve cooperation between the parliamentary working bodies and friendship groups. Arsic opined that the Commission would prove to be an excellent platform to exchange views on current issues and an important incentive to boost overall parliamentary cooperation.
Vice-Chairperson of the Chinese National People's Congress Cao Jianming said that exchanges of high-level visits between Serbia and China have been very intensive in the last few years and relations have consequently been raised to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership. The results of the cooperation are plentiful across the board – in the fields of trade, investment, development of infrastructure and energy, as well as culture and tourism, Cao Jianming stated. The two countries also enjoy excellent cooperation and close communication in foreign affairs matters, said he, stressing that the China appreciates Serbia’s consistent endorsement of the “One China” policy and also respects Serbia’s territorial integrity and efforts invested into European integration. Cao Jianming said that the Commission is a stable and efficient platform for the two countries to strengthen dialogue and cooperation and that it would have a significant role in the future development of relations between the two countries.
The first meeting of the Commission for Cooperation between the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the Chinese National People's Congress was dedicated to topic of mutual interest such as parliamentary support to issues of vital and national importance, the role of parliamentarians in the fight against The Three Evils (terrorism, separatism and extremism), parliamentary support to trade and economic bilateral cooperation, parliamentary support to the development of Serbia-China relations in the fields of agriculture, culture, science and education and exchange of experiences related to governance and rule of law.
Concluding the first meeting of the Commission, the co-chairs Veroljub Arsic and Cao Jianming agreed that the exchange of opinions on current issues and challenges has been very significant and that the two countries’ friendship and interparliamentary cooperation have entered a new era.
They also said that it is important to keep working toward deepening cooperation both at the bilateral level and within international institutions and organizations, especially the “16+1” and “Belt and Road” initiatives.