The second meeting of the Commission for Cooperation between the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the Chinese National People's Congress was held today at the Chinese National People's Congress. The focus of the meeting was international law, preservation of territorial integrity and sovereignty, and in that context the question of Kosovo-Metohija. The officials also deliberated on the potentials of future economy and infrastructure development projects and exchanged agriculture, environmental protection, science, education and culture-related experiences.
The meeting of the joint parliamentary Commission was opened by co-chairs National Assembly Deputy Speaker Veroljub Arsic and Vice-Chairperson of the Chinese National People's Congress Cao Jianming.
Arsic said that the work of the Commission affirms and strengthens Serbia and China’s commitment to their strategic partnership, adding that the Commission’s objective is to advance the development of the two countries and their “steel friendship”, something the two leaders Aleksandar Vucic and Xi Jinping heartily agree on.
Arsic thanked China for its principled, firm support of Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo-Metohija, grounded in international law and China’s authority in international organizations and institutions.
He praised the dynamics of the visits of top political officials, 13 all in all in the last five years, at the level of country presidents, prime ministers and parliament speakers. Arsic opined that economic cooperation is crucial for overall bilateral relations, especially in view of the fact that economic cooperation is tightly linked to all other types of bilateral cooperation. He said that the Commission had proved its worth as regards advancement of relations between the two representative legislative bodies through the comprehensive cooperation between their respective working bodies, parliamentary friendship groups and delegations to international parliamentary institutions.
Speaking about issues of vital interest for the two countries, Vice-Chairperson of the Chinese National People's Congress Cao Jianming stressed that China greatly appreciates Serbia’s commitment to the “One-China policy”, adding that China respects Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo-Metohija and respects Serbia’s independently chosen developmental path.
He went on to talk about the friendship and partnership between China and Serbia, developing on the principle of equality, and reminded the attending that the two countries have characterized their level of bilateral relations as “steel friendship”. He said that the cooperation has already yielded some concrete results especially in the field of investment, development of infrastructure, culture and tourism, and Serbia has been among the first countries in South East and Central Europe to initiate economic cooperation with China under the auspices of the Belt and Road initiative. Cao highlighted the importance of cooperation in the field of innovation as it propels the bilateral relations between the two countries into a new stage of development.
In addition to National Assembly Deputy Speaker and Commission co-chair Veroljub Arsic, on the part of the National Assembly the meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with China Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic, Chairperson of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy Snezana B. Petrovic, Chairman of the Health and Family Committee Dr Sci.med Darko Laketic, Chairman of the Culture and Information Committee Mirko Krlic and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society Prof. Dr Ljubisa Stojmirovic.
In the course of the meeting the parliamentarians agreed that diplomacy should follow the development of relations and cooperation based on the principle of equality through a positive interaction with the world. They also discussed parliamentary support for the further development of bilateral economic cooperation through specific economy and infrastructure development projects. They also spoke about the results of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which they noted could be the impetus to promote the prosperity of all the participating states, and both sides went on to propose new projects and parliamentary support for the development of infrastructure, energy and agriculture.
The Chairman of the Health and Family Committee and the National Assembly Commission to Investigate the Consequences of the NATO 1999 Bombing on the Health of the Citizens of Serbia and the Environment Darko Laketic stressed that environmental protection, conservation and recovery after environmental disasters are a priority for Serbia both in terms of legislation and exchange of experiences. He briefed the parliamentarians about Serbia’s activities concerning the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on water-related goals.
The officials also discussed the role of the parliament in advancing scientific, culture and education cooperation, dialogue between traditions and cultures and modern art projects, with a special focus on the protection of the cultural heritage on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija.
Concluding the Commission meeting, the parliamentarians agreed that firm ground has been set for the further development and intensification of future cooperation. Both sides agreed that interparliamentary cooperation would continue to contribute to the strengthening of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.