Strengthening cooperation between Beijing and Belgrade
Posted By: IZAKOVIC
Special envoy of the President of China and Secretary of the Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs Meng Jiandu began a visit to Serbia. The focus of the talks is security cooperation, but analysts point out that it should also be viewed through the prism of Chinese influence in the region.
A senior official in the Serbian media has also been portrayed as China's "first intelligence" and one of the closest associates of Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also brought to Belgrade several senior security officials - deputy ministers of public and state security, as well as the Secretary General of the Security Council of China.
It was precisely the security cooperation that was also the main topic of his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Minister of Police Nebojsa Stefanovic.
In his first statement in Belgrade, Meng said he had agreed with the Serbian minister that Serbia and China "are taking strong measures to curb organized and cross-border crime," while assessing that "terrorism is an enemy to the whole world and that we will confront it together."
"The law enforcement and security authorities of the two sides will further deepen mutual cooperation in order to provide together an even safer environment in the interests of the security of our citizens. We agreed to take strong measures to curb organized and cross-border crime," Meng said.
After the meeting, it was said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) of Serbia started cooperation with Chinese company "Huawei" about the camera system, as well as that China offered its instructors to Serbia and the possibility for people from Serbia to go to China for training.
Stefanovic said that "Serbia and China will deepen their cooperation in the field of security," and said that they discussed "the fight against organized crime and terrorism," and "how to use new and modern technologies to be more effective in this fight." -
"The Ministry of the Interior will deepen and continue strengthening its relations with the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China, which will enable a better exchange of information on all those who could endanger the security of our countries, as well as resolute opposition to potential terrorism and extremism and to all those who would our countries can be an easy target, "said Stefanovic.
Serbia and China have fairly close cooperation. In June last year, during the visit of the Chinese President of Serbia, the Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed as well as many others from the field of construction, infrastructure, telecommunications, trade, defense, media ... Also, Serbia expressed the desire to be part of an ambitious economic project of Chinese President "One belt, one way".
In the Serbian economy in recent years, China's presence was most visible when the Chinese company "Hestil" took over Železara Smederevo, which attracted the attention of Brussels.
The EU, although it does not have anything against Chinese investments in Serbia, insists, however, that it be in line with European rules.
Let's add that the media in Serbia on the eve of Meng's visit wrote that its goal is precisely to hear from Serbian officials that the European Union is looking at the development of Chinese investments in Serbia, as well as their influence in the entire region.
Professor of the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, Director of the Institute for Asian Studies, Dragana Mitrovic Meng's visit is read as a message of Chinese President Si Jinping, which refers to his initiative "One belt, one way".
"These visits have, in some way, a goal to maintain high political affinity, to show the importance to China of these countries, that is to say, projects and to reflect on what the host countries have committed. So, this visit which we see it as another one in a row, and especially in the context of the expected Prime Minister's summit within the framework of the 16 + 1 cooperation format, "said Dragana Mitrovic.
A comprehensive analysis of the New York Times on September 9 states that China is coming to Serbia, described as "one of the poorest countries in Europe," torn between European tendencies, Russian pressure and regional tensions. "
It is specified that the Serbian economy is burdened with high debts, many of them with the Chinese bank. The loans in the bank are, on average, taken for 20 to 30 years with an interest rate of 2 to 2.5 percent.
It is also noted that China invests in the Serbian neighborhood, and indirectly and by that way, there are growing concerns that the ambitions of this great power in the Balkans are not only business, but also political.
Reporter New York Times Barbara Srk in a statement for RSE as particularly interesting underlines the timing of Jiangsu's visit to Serbia.
"I think it is very important because this visit is held only a few weeks before the holding of a significant Congress of the Communist Party of China (the Congress was announced on October 18, 2017) .The Congress will be chaired by President Xi Jinping who visited Serbia last year and then talked about Chinese investment