China–Serbia relations

Sino-Serbian relations are foreign relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Serbia. Relations have been maintained since SFR Yugoslavia's recognition of PR China on October 1, 1949, while diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally established by the exchange of diplomatic notes between the two Foreign Ministers on January 2, 1955. China has an embassy in Belgrade and also maintains an office in Priština based on consent of the Government of Serbia from November 2006. Serbia has an embassy in Beijing and a consulate-general in Shanghai. In 2017, Serbia and China mutually abolished the requirement of obtaining an entry visa for its citizens.[1]

Chinese-Serbian relations




1990 to present

The PRC supported the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War and opposed the NATO airstrikes against targets in Serbia and Montenegro.[2] The PRC believed that Milošević was acting to prevent the secession of Kosovo by Albanian separatists from the FRY, and thus supported his actions as preserving the FRY's territorial integrity.[3] The PRC opposed NATO intervention in Kosovo on the basis that it set a dangerous precedent that PRC officials believed could in the future afflict the PRC, should riots occur in Tibet or Xinjiang and then result in bombings.[4] PRC opposition to the NATO actions intensified after the bombing of the PR Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the war.[5]

Under president Aleksandar Vučić, Serbia has sought closer cooperation with China.[6][7] After meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, he secured Chinese help in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia through delivery of PPE and CoronaVac vaccine doses,[8] which has contributed to Serbia leading COVID-19 vaccination rates in Europe.[9][10] China has invested US$10 billion in Serbian infrastructure and energy including projects such as the Budapest–Belgrade railway. Chinese Hesteel Group took over the struggling Smederevo steel plant, keeping 5,000 people employed.[11]

Vučić has stated that "Serbia firmly supports the Chinese government’s positions in safeguarding China’s core interests including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang and supports the "One Belt And One Road" initiative"[12] According to commentators, China has replaced Russia to become Serbia's strongest ally.[13]


China backs Serbia's position regarding Kosovo. The PR Chinese Foreign Ministry has made a statement stressing that the PRC "expresses grave concern" over Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence. The spokesman Liu Jianchao's remarks go on to add that "The resolution of the Kosovo issue bares [sic] on peace and stability of the Balkan region, the fundamental norms governing international relations as well as the authority and role of the UN Security Council. China always believes that a plan acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo through negotiations is the best way to resolve this issue. The unilateral move taken by Kosovo will lead to a series of consequences. China is deeply worried about its severe and negative impact on peace and stability of the Balkan region and the goal of establishing a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo. China calls upon Serbia and Kosovo to continue negotiations for a proper resolution within the framework of the international law and work together to safeguard peace and stability of the Balkan region. The international community should create favorable conditions for that."[14][15] Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić told reporters after a meeting in Beijing with Politburo member Liu Yandong that China reiterated its support to help Serbia preserve her territorial integrity. "Just as Serbia supports the one China policy, China supports Serbia as its best and most stable friend in southeastern Europe."[16] Ambassador of China to Serbia, Wei Jinghua, stated in June 2009 that "China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and understands the great concern of Serbia on the issue of Kosovo. We support the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina that would bring a mutually acceptable solution, in accordance with international law, the UN Charter and UN resolutions."[17]

Economic relations

The People's Republic of China is the most important trading partner of the Republic of Serbia in the region of Asia. The volume of trade between the two countries in 2006 was US$788.1 million with Serbian exports taking US$6.25 million. While in period of January–October 2007, the trade totaled EUR 793.8 million. Serbia's exports to China were worth EUR 3.2 million.[citation needed]

Serbia exports to China are natural rubber, rubber products, machinery and equipment (special machine tools and road vehicles), cork, timber, etc. and Chinese exports to Serbia are machinery and equipment (office equipment, telecommunication equipment, electric machines), various manufactured goods, clothing, footwear, textiles, chemicals and staple items.

In 2006, Serbia officially confirmed its participation at Expo 2010 which took place in Shanghai.

On 18 December 2014, Premier Li Keqiang visited Serbia and attended the opening ceremony of Pupin Bridge.[18]

Culture and education

Educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries is being maintained under the interstate Agreement on cultural cooperation that was concluded in Beijing on 7 June 1957.

The Confucius Institute in Belgrade has opened on August, 2006 by Tang Jiaxuan.

In February 2020 Slobodan Trkulja held a concert on Kalemegdan in support of Chinese people and victims of coronavirus 2 from Wuhan.[19]

Recent bilateral meetings

Dates Visit
November 2000 Visit by Foreign Minister Živadin Jovanović, to Beijing
December 2000 Visit by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, to Belgrade
August 2001 Visit by Deputy Federal Prime Minister Miroljub Labus, to Beijing
January 2002 Visit by Federal President Vojislav Koštunica, to Beijing
April 2003 Visit by Foreign Minister Goran Svilanović, to Beijing
April 2003 Visit by Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Guchang, to Belgrade
November 2003 Visit by Prime Minister Zoran Živković, to Beijing
September 2004 Visit by Defence Minister Prvoslav Davinić, to Beijing
October 2004 Visit by CPPCC Vice Chair Madame Liu Yandong, to Belgrade
February 2005 Visit by President Boris Tadić, to Beijing
May 2005 Visit by Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, to Belgrade
May 2005 Visit by First Secretary of the CP City Committee Liu Qi, to Belgrade
May 2005 Visit by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, to Belgrade
October 2005 Visit by Foreign Minister Vuk Drašković, to Beijing
December 2005 Visit by Minister for Human and Minority Rights Rasim Ljajić, to Beijing
May 2006 Visit by Mayor of Belgrade Nenad Bogdanović, to Beijing
May 2006 Visit by Security Intelligence Agency Director Rade Bulatović, to Beijing
August 2006 Visit by State Counsellor Tang Jiaxuan, to Belgrade
April 2007 Visit by Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu, to Belgrade
April 2007 Visit by Chief of SAF GS Zdravko Ponoš, to Beijing
September 2007 Visit by Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić, to Beijing
August 2008 Visit by President Boris Tadić, to Beijing
September 2008 Visit by Chief of PLA Chen Bingde, to Belgrade
November 2008 Visit by Defence Minister Dragan Šutanovac, to Beijing
April 2009 Visit by Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić, to Beijing
August 2009 Delegation led by Boris Tadić, 5 day visit to China
June 2010 Visit by Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, to Beijing
July 2010 Visit by Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo, to Belgrade
December 2010 Visit by Minister of Diaspora Srdjan Sreckovic, to Beijing
May 2011 Visit by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, to Belgrade
August 2011 Visit by President of the National Assembly of Serbia Slavica Đukić Dejanović to Beijing
August 2013 Visit by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić to Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai
December 2014 Visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to Belgrade
September 2015 Visit by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić to Beijing
November 2015 Visit by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić to Suzhou
June 2016 Visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Belgrade and Smederevo
September 2018 Visit by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to Tianjin

Strategic partnership

Serbia and China signed an important strategic partnership agreement in August 2009.[20] The agreement has ten points and covers wide array of subjects including the mutual respect of territorial integrity, plans for trade development as well as cultural, technological and scientific exchange.[21]

See also


  1. "Pandemic and EU neglect tighten Serbia bonds with China". 17 June 2020.
  2. Warren I. Cohen. America's response to China: a history of Sino-American relations. 5th edition. New York, New York, USA; West Sussex, England, UK: Columbia University Press, 2010. p. 261.
  3. Suisheng Zhao. Chinese foreign policy: pragmatism and strategic behavior. New York, New York, USA: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. p. 60.
  4. Suisheng Zhao. Chinese foreign policy: pragmatism and strategic behavior. New York, New York, USA: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. p. 60.
  5. Warren I. Cohen. America's response to China: a history of Sino-American relations. 5th edition. New York, New York, USA; West Sussex, England, UK: Columbia University Press, 2010. p. 261.
  6. "Interview: China is a "friend indeed" to Serbia -- Serbian president - Xinhua |". Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  7. Welle (, Deutsche. "Serbia as China's favorite partner | DW | 18.02.2021". DW.COM. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  8. "China Is Helping a European Ally Get Ahead on Vaccines". 2021-02-01. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  9. "Vaccine tourists welcome as Serbians say 'no thanks' to jabs". France 24. 2021-04-04. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  10. "Serbia is outpacing nearly every country in the EU at vaccination". The Economist. 2021-04-03. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  11. "Serbia sees China ties as way to catch up with Europe". Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  12. "Serbian President meets Chinese Defense Minister - Ministry of National Defense". Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  13. "China Has Overtaken Russia as Serbia's Great Ally". Balkan Insight. 2020-07-08. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  14. "China 'deeply concerned' over Kosovo independence: govt". Agence France-Presse. 18 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  15. "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Remarks on Kosovo's Unilateral Declaration of Independence". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. 18 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  16. "China reiterates support for Serbia". Tanjug. 7 April 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2019-04-06 via B92.
  17. Radeka, Dušica (16 June 2009). "Na Kosovu se brane principi". Večernje novosti (in Serbian). Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  18. "Premier Li to open Chinese-built bridge in Belgrade". China Network Television. 19 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2019-04-06 via
  19. Serbia, RTS, Radio televizija Srbije, Radio Television of. "Београд за Вухан – први концерт подршке Кини". Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  20. "China, Serbia sign strategic cooperation deal". Tanjug. 20 August 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-08-22 via B92.
  21. "Zajednička izjava Srbije i Kine". Vreme (in Serbian). 21 August 2009. Retrieved 2019-04-06.