Serbian President completely rejects suggestions of Chinese ‘debt trap diplomacy’

In this episode of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić speaks to Wang Guan about the special friendship that links the two countries. Chinese people often refer to Serbia as their “iron clad brother”.

Vučić recalls that China has been the most supportive country to Serbia in difficult times, mentioning, in particular, the fight against Covid-19. Other countries talked about solidarity yet hoarded vaccines, incubators, and other medical equipment. But China came to the aid of Serbia and of countries around the world. In 2020, President Vučić touched the hearts of many people in China when he went to the airport to personally receive the medical relief supplies from China and kissed first the Serbian and then the Chinese flag.

He also recalled how his intercession with President Xi Jinping during the Chinese leader’s state visit in 2016 had saved the country’s Smederevo steel mill and also spoke about the 2022 inauguration of the Belgrade to Novi Sad (Serbia’s second largest city) link of the Serbia-Hungary high-speed railway.

Vučić completely rejects suggestions of Chinese ‘debt trap diplomacy’. He was presented with such allegations in Brussels but countered that Serbia had taken many loans from China, but the country’s public debt to GDP ratio was some 51-52% whereas the average in the Eurozone is 92% and, in some cases, it is over 100%.

Additionally, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that Serbia signed with China last October will bring many benefits to his country, both in facilitating exports and making imports cheaper.

Recalling the NATO bombing of the then Yugoslavia 25 years ago, which also claimed the lives of Chinese citizens, the Serbian President notes that NATO’s actions were illegal and criminal – there was no resolution or authorisation from the United Nations Security Council. Territorial integrity is important to both China and Serbia and his position on Taiwan is very straightforward: Taiwan is China. It is up to China when and how it achieves reunification. Whatever China does in this regard will be supported by Serbia.

Reflecting on President Xi Jinping, Vučić says that you can see the depth of his thoughts, and his love for his country, from the simple but profound way in which he deploys Chinese proverbs in his writings.

The full video of President Vučić’s interview is embedded below.

2 thoughts on “Serbian President completely rejects suggestions of Chinese ‘debt trap diplomacy’”

  1. I am from Vancouver,Canada and i never did agree with NATO bombing Yugoslavia.With regard to the Chinese Dept Trap everyone knows by now that this is a Lie to benefit the US Gov’t and has been condemned throughout the world.
    China makes friends throughout the World while NATO and its allies make enemies where ever they go.

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