In an exclusive interview with Kurir, Chen Bo, Ambassador of China in Belgrade, said that she is very happy that the medical supplies, equipment, and vaccine from China can contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Serbia. She revealed that, in addition to the one million doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine which have arrived in Serbia, another delivery is being mapped out. Speaking about the joint economic and infrastructural projects of Serbia and China, Ambassador Chen noted that these projects contribute to the economic recovery of the two countries.
Serbia has acquired one million vaccine doses from China – a feat that few European countries have managed to bring off. How happy are you with the collaboration between Serbia and China in the fight against the coronavirus?
"The peoples of China and Serbia understand, support, and help each other in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Our nation will never forget the concert that the people of Serbia staged in Belgrade as a token of their support during the most difficult period of the fight against the epidemic in Wuhan. A team of medical experts from China spent 82 days in Serbia, traveling across the country to share their experiences in preventing, controlling, and treating this disease with Serbian healthcare workers. We are also very happy that the medical supplies, equipment, and vaccine from China can contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Serbia. Active engagement in practical collaboration and stimulating economic recovery are important elements in the fight against the pandemic. The collaborative infrastructural projects of China and Serbia, such as the construction of a section of the Preljina-Požega highway and the Belgrade-Budapest railroad, are developing according to plan. The HBIS Iron and Steel plant in Smederevo and the Zijin mine in Bor operate as normal. The construction projects for Linglong, Mint, and Xingyu plants, as well as other Chinese investment projects, have made good progress. All this has contributed to the economic recovery of our two countries."
Can another delivery of the vaccine from China be expected soon?
"As far as I know, teams on both sides are working hard on that."
The Chinese economy has fared best in the coronavirus pandemic, and other economies are shrinking. What was the crucial component in saving the Chinese economy?
"The Chinese economy has had a 2.3% growth in 2020, and is expected to be the only major economy in the world to have positive economic growth. The Chinese GDP has reached ¥101.6 thousand billion, exceeding 100 billion yuan for the first time. China has also achieved its goal of reducing poverty as planned. These results are not easy to come by. There are many reasons. I think that three are the most important."
And they are …?
"Firstly, the fact that the epidemic has been put under control efficiently and effectively. Secondly, the Chinese Government implements its macropolicies in a scientific and precise manner, pursues the 'dual circulation' strategy, expands domestic demand, and steps up its opening-up to the world. Thirdly, the entire Chinese people work hard under the leadership of the Communist Party of China despite the difficulties."
You have been in Serbia for two years on the dot. Have you had a chance to learn more about our country? What do you like the most here, and what would you recommend to your friends?
"It's been two years since I came to Serbia to work, but my ties with it goes back much further. I came to Belgrade in the 1990s to study and work. I learnt a lot about Serbia and I'm very fond of it. The strongest impression this time around is that development has picked up pace and that my friends are more diligent than before. I like the environment and the food, but I'm fondest of the Serbian people. To my Chinese friends I recommend that they visit Serbia, not only to enjoy the nature and the cultural attractions, but also to have a cup of coffee, lunch, and a chat with their Serbian friends. They should experience the hospitality, sincerity, and the friendly attitude towards the Chinese people."
On the Kosovo Question
'We understand and support Serbia's legitimate demands.'
New and innovative solutions to the Kosovo Question have been announced. What kind of solution to this problem would China support?
"China's stance on the question of Kosovo and Metohija is consistent. China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia. Our view is that, under Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council and other relevant SC resolutions, a mutually acceptable solution should be found through dialogue. We understand and support Serbia's legitimate demands related to the question of Kosovo and Metohija, and we appreciate its efforts to find a solution through dialogue."
On an important Belgrade project
'The construction of the metro will proceed without issues.'
Chinese and French companies will be working on the construction of the Belgrade Metro – a very important project for Belgrade. Is it realistic to have the first line ready in 2028?
"I am glad that Chinese companies can contribute to the construction of the Belgrade Metro. The Serbian Government and the Belgrade authorities are actively encouraging the metro construction project. Both the Chinese and the French company have the most advanced technology globally, as well as a rich