16 July 2017 The National Assembly Speaker and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress
Sunday, 16 July 2017
Gojkovic and Chairman of Chinese National People's Congress
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic met today with the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Dejiang, launching his three-day official visit to Serbia, and on the occasion highlighted the comprehensive strategic partnership-level relations between Serbia and China and their firm friendship.
Zhang said that, though geographically distant, China and Serbia and their people have built a friendship and Serbia has become China’s first comprehensive strategic partner in the central and south European region.
Gojkovic and Zhang discussed how to best further the friendly relations, to that end signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parliaments which opens up new avenues for development. The two heads of parliament agreed to intensify contacts between the parliamentary committees, friendship groups and delegations in international parliamentary organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Gojkovic and Zhang said that the parliaments will offer support to the bilateral trade, economic and investment agreements, especially in the realm of infrastructure and energy, such as the Belt and Road initiative and the cooperation between China and central and eastern European countries which are very important for both countries. The two heads of parliament said that projects like the Mihailo Pupin bridge, Smederevo Steel Works, Thermal Power Plant Kostolac B and the modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest railway, are successful examples of cooperation, and the parliaments would work on creating an even better legislative environment for cooperation.
Gojkovic added that the Serbian Assembly would give its full contribution by ratifying the agreements, mentioning as a good example the verification of the Visa-Abolition Agreement for bearers of regular passport which opens up the opportunity for increased visits of businesspeople and tourists to Serbia, which Chairman Zhang was most pleased with saying that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Serbia has doubled, and seeing how 120 million Chinese people travel abroad at a yearly level, this is an incredible opportunity for Serbia.
“We hope China will continue to invest into Serbia and that you will continue to encourage Chinese investors to keep on investing”, Gojkovic said to the Chairman of the National People's Congress.
Gojkovic and Zhang underlined the importance of cultural cooperation for fostering ever stronger ties between the two nations, stressing the importance of opening cultural centres in Belgrade and Beijing for that purpose.
The National Assembly Speaker also thanked China for supporting Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, adding that following the same principle Serbia fully supports the One China policy.
Zhang invited the National Assembly Speaker to visit China which would be an excellent opportunity to further develop interparliamentary relations.