Internet InfoMedia in serbia xi underlines close ties with ally that shares wariness of u s
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Visiting friendly leaders in Eastern Europe, the Chinese president commemorated the 25th anniversary of a misdirected U.S. airstrike that destroyed China’s embassy in Belgrade.

China and Serbia on Wednesday proclaimed an “ironclad friendship” during a visit to Belgrade by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, underlining the close political and economic ties between two countries that share a wariness of the United States.

Mr. Xi arrived in Serbia late Tuesday — the 25th anniversary of a mistaken 1999 airstrike involving the U.S. Air Force during the Kosovo war that destroyed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Three Chinese journalists were killed in the strike.

Mr. Xi appeared briefly on Wednesday morning with the Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic, before a cheering crowd gathered in front of the Palace of Serbia, the former headquarters of the now defunct government of Yugoslavia that now houses Serbian government offices.

“The ironclad friendship between China and Serbia has withstood the test of international storms and tribulations,” Mr. Xi told Mr. Vucic in a meeting, according to an account from Xinhua, China’s official news agency. “It has a deep historical bedrock, a robust political foundation, wide-ranging common interests and a solid basis in public opinion.”

In contrast to Mr. Xi’s last visit to Eastern and Central Europe in 2016, during which he faced noisy protests in the Czech Republic, he received a uniformly friendly reception in Belgrade, with the authorities mobilizing state workers to cheer him.

China is Serbia’s largest foreign investor and increasingly close economic relations have helped expand a relationship forged before the collapse of Yugoslavia, whose capital was Belgrade, in the early 1990s by shared wariness of Western and Soviet power.

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