Published on Friends of Socialist China, Jan 29, 2023:
In this episode of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, Zou Yun travels to Belgrade to interview Ana Brnabić, Serbia’s first woman Prime Minister, who has held office since June 2017.
According to Brnabić, the friendship between Serbia and China can be described as steel-like or ironclad in both the political and economic fields. She recalls the 1999 bombing of Serbia – and Montenegro – by US-led NATO, without any United Nations authorisation, which killed and injured thousands and displaced millions, noting that it is therefore very difficult for western countries to accuse anyone else of aggression. Brnabić was living in the UK at the time and found it very difficult not to be in her country but away from family and friends. The bombing of the Chinese Embassy, in which three Chinese journalists were killed, will, she said, never be forgotten by the people of either country and had created a very special emotional bond between them. During his state visit to Serbia in 2016, President Xi Jinping inaugurated an impressive Chinese Cultural Centre on the site of the former embassy.
Explaining Serbia’s attempts to pursue a balanced foreign policy, including with China, Russia and the European Union, Brnabić notes that China has proven to be a true friend, especially in the most difficult moments of crisis. Trade with China has boomed and she is looking forward to the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. Recalling her visit to China’s Shanghai Import Expo in 2019, she strongly refutes the allegations that China practices protectionism. Serbia’s experience proves the opposite.
Congratulating China on the success of the Communist Party’s 20th National Congress, Prime Minister Brnabić describes General Secretary Xi Jinping’s election to a third term of office as good news for the entire world. Serbia, she says, is keen to replicate some of China’s development initiatives.
The full interview, first published on CGTN YouTube channel, Nov 19, 2022, is embedded below.
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