In 2013, the strategic partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Serbia grew in a comprehensive and in-depth manner with greater cooperation across the board.
The two countries had close political exchanges at various levels. From 25 to 29 August, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic paid a state visit to China. President Xi Jinping had talks with him and Premier Li Keqiang and NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang met with him. The two heads of state signed the Joint Statement Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Serbia on Deepening Strategic Partnership and witnessed the signing of documents on economic, agricultural, communications and other areas of cooperation. In November, Premier Li Keqiang met with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic in Bucharest, capital of Romania, who was also attending the Meeting of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries. In April, Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, came to China for the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013, and President Xi Jinping met with him. Vera Mavric, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, came to China for the consultation between the two foreign ministries.
The two countries covered new ground in their practical cooperation. In November, Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic and Prime Minister of Hungary Orban Viktor jointly announced the construction of a railway linking Budapest, capital of Hungary, and Belgrade, capital of Serbia. A Chinese enterprise undertook the construction of the Serbian section of European Route 763, yet another project after the Danube bridge project in Belgrade and the Kostolac Power Plant (Stage I). In July, the 10th Meeting of the China-Serbia Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in Belgrade.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation grew more vibrant, and there were closer exchanges at the local level. The two countries signed the Program of Cooperation in the Areas of Culture and Art Between the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2013-2016. The Beijing Dance Theater and the Shanghai Puppet Troupe staged shows in Serbia, and the Viva Vox Choir of Serbia staged shows in China. Huang Longyun, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Guangdong Provincial People's Congress, and Zhang Chaochao, Vice Governor of Shandong Province, visited Serbia. A delegation from the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina visited Guangdong Province. By the end of 2013, China and Serbia had established five pairs of sister provinces or cities.
Cooperation between political parties and in such areas as science, technology, agriculture and geology kept expanding. In April, the Serbian Progressive Party and the Socialist Party of Serbia sent a delegation to Suzhou for the fourth China-Europe High-level Political Parties Forum. In June, the Second Session of the China-Serbia Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee was held in Beijing. In August, the two countries signed the Memorandum on Establishment of Agricultural Science and Technology Network Between the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia. In November, Milan Bacevic, Minister of Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning of Serbia, came to China for the China Mining Conference and Exhibition 2013. Jiang Daming, Minister of Land and Resources, met with him and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Geology and Mining Between the Ministry of Land and Resources of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia.
Serbia actively participated in the cooperation between China and CEE Countries. In May, Bratislav Petkovic, Minister of Culture and Information, attended the Forum on Cultural Cooperation Between China and CEE Countries in China. In July, the Serbian delegation of local leaders attended the Local Leaders' Meeting of China and CEE Countries in Chongqing. In October, Aleksandar Antic, National Coordinator of Serbia for Cooperation between China and CEE Countries and Minister of Transport, attended the National Coordinators' Meeting for Cooperation between China and CEE Countries in Bucharest. The Serbian Progressive Party and the Democratic Party sent representatives to China for the Young Political Leaders Forum of China-CEE Countries. In December, Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and other Serbian officials came to China for the High-level Symposium of Think Tanks of China and CEE Countries.