The following is an excerpt from a speech by Premier Li Keqiang at the Fourth China and Central and Eastern European Countries Economic and Trade Forum in Belgrade, Serbia, on Tuesday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) receives the Belgrade honorary citizen charter at the Belgrade City Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia, Dec 18, 2014.
It was an absolutely grand sight when tens of thousands of local people stood along the Zemun-Borca bridge, waving Chinese and Serbian flags and cheering.
China and Serbia on Thursday pledged to cement their strategic partnership by enhancing cooperation in infrastructure.
The first new bridge in decades over the River Danube in Belgrade has cemented friendship and cooperation between both the countries.
China and Serbia on Wednesday agreed to continue to support each other on issues of core interests, further bilateral practical cooperation, realize common development, and upgrade strategic partnership to a new level.
Chinese students majoring in the Serbian language are benefiting from the country's increasing cooperation with the Republic of Serbia, according to the director of the only Chinese university that has a Serbian language program.
Premier Li Keqiang will meet a host of celebrities in Belgrade on Thursday, but this will be more than just a routine diplomatic assignment.
China is to boost its presence in the Balkans and funnel exports to Europe through a "corridor" linking Beijing with the continent via the Mediterranean.
"China and Serbia have mutual economic interests, which are not burdened with any unpleasant political baggage," said Ljiljana Smajlovic, president of the Journalists' Association of Serbia.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Belgrade late Monday to attend the third leaders' meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, and to pay an official visit to Serbia intended to strengghen bilateral relations.
Before becoming the Serbian ambassador to China less than two months ago, Milan Bacevic was the minister of natural resources, mining and spatial planning in Belgrade.