BEIJING, Oct. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This is a report from China.org.cn: “Although our two countries are geographically far apart, our two peoples are close in hearts.” Maja Stefanovic, Serbian Ambassador to China, spoke in fluent Chinese when commenting on the friendship between the people of China and Serbia.
Maja Stefanovic went to China for study in 1993. It was her first time coming to the country. In 2007, when Stefanovic came to China again, she was amazed by the fast development and changes in China. “For example, I barely recognized some parts of Beijing. Changes were really good and big, and the development was tremendous,” she said. “So, I’m privileged now, really privileged, to have this opportunity, and I’m honored to be an ambassador to China, especially having in mind that current relations between Serbia and China are at the highest level in history. Serbia and China are traditional friends and our peoples are bonded by iron-clad friendship.”
Referring to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Ambassador Stefanovic said that since its launch in 2013, Serbia has been fully supporting and actively participating in it, establishing fruitful cooperation with China in areas such as infrastructure, transportation, and energy.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is of global importance, and it is about connectivity. So, it assisted very much, when it comes to better connectivity of Serbia with the region as well,” Ambassador Stefanovic passionately commented, when elaborating on the benefits the initiative brought to Serbia and even all of Europe.
Over the past decade, the initiative has brought tangible benefits to Serbia and other countries. Thanks to its promotion and implementation, the flagship collaboration between China and Central and Eastern European countries – notably the Belgrade-Novi Sad section of the Hungary-Serbia railway, which aligns the BRI with European development strategies – has officially begun operations. This railway section enables trains to run at a speed of 200 km/h. Since its inauguration, the travel time between Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, and Novi Sad, its second-largest city, has reduced to 33 minutes, significantly enhancing transportation efficiency between the two cities.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of launch of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past decade, the initiative has become a significant platform for international cooperation. The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing on October 17-18, with representatives from over 150 countries and 30-plus international organizations in attendance.