Premier Li's Serbia visit to promote Belgrade-Budapest railway

Updated: 2014-12-13 16:26


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BEIJING -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Serbia will promote substantial progress of the Belgrade-Budapest railway that China is constructing with Serbia and Hungary, a senior Chinese official said Friday.

Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao told a press briefing on Li's three-nation visit that the premier will hold a joint meeting with leaders of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, including Serbia and Hungary, in Belgrade to discuss connectivity in the region.

The Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Li will visit Kazakhstan, Serbia and Thailand from Dec. 14 to 20.

During his stay in Serbia, Li will attend the third leaders' meeting of China and CEE countries. At the second meeting in Bucharest last year, China, Hungary and Serbia agreed to build the Belgrade-Budapest railway.

"There will be substantial progress on the construction of the railway during the visit," said Wang.

An outcome document -- the Belgrade Plan -- will list new cooperation between the two sides, Wang added.

This is Chinese premier's first visit to the country in 28 years and of great importance to the China-Serbia strategic partnership. Li will meet with the Serbian president and prime minister, and attend the completion ceremony of a bridge across the River Danube in Belgrade with his Serbian counterpart.

Built by a Chinese company, the 1.5-km bridge is open for traffic as expected, and in October 2015 the whole project including 21 km access roads will be completed.

"The completion of the bridge will set an example for economic and trade cooperation between China and CEE countries," said Wang.