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Serbia trades Russia for China – Politico

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Belgrade sees China as its new main political trading partner in the West after close ties with Russia became dangerous for Serbia.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Belgrade as part of his European tour has sparked unprecedented enthusiasm in Serbia, a country often seen as one of China’s strongest allies in Europe. POLITICO wrote this on Wednesday, May 8.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told Xi during the meeting that although he will be greeted with respect around the world as the head of a great state, he will not see the kind of respect and love that he will see in Serbia anywhere else.

The publication notes that Xi’s arrival was met with strict security measures that effectively brought the Serbian capital to a standstill: more than 6,500 police officers were stationed at key points along the route of the visit, paying tribute to the Chinese leader. Chinese flags were raised all over Belgrade and about 50 buses brought people from different parts of the country to the main scene.

The publication notes that multipolarity is an important aspect of China’s foreign policy strategy, whose formulation often serves as a veil for the current leadership’s aim to challenge US dominance in global politics.

Serbia, known for its close ties with Russia and frequent criticism of Brussels policies, is proving to be a useful tool in this endeavor despite its modest size and economic power.

“This visit shows that Serbia has traded Russia for China when it comes to its main partner to reconcile with the West. The China card is more often, because it is considered less provocative,” said Vuk Vuksanovic, an expert on the relations of China-Serbia and senior fellow at the Belgrade Center for Security Policy.

According to him, the Balkans, and Serbia in particular, have become more interesting for China now that a branch of the Belt and Road Initiative through Russia and Belarus has been effectively cut off by a large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

It was previously reported that Xi Jinping arrived in Serbia on the evening of May 7. The date of his visit coincided with the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

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Source: korrespondent

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