Chinese President Xi Jinping Arrives in Serbia on Anniversary of NATO Bombing of Chinese Embassy

Chinese President Xi Jinping's arrival in Serbia was met with heightened security, notably on the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade, where three Chinese journalists tragically lost their lives. This visit is significant as it marks Xi's first trip to Europe in half a decade, with Serbia being his second stop after France, and Hungary to follow. Serbia holds strategic importance for China in the Balkans, being considered one of its key partners in the region.

Nitish Verma
Updated On
New Update

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and his wife Tamara Vucic welcome China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan for an official two-day state visit


Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival in Serbia marks a significant moment in Sino-Serbian relations, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. This visit, part of Xi’s first European tour in five years, is expected to fortify the already strong ties between China and Serbia through discussions of multi-billion-dollar investments and new agreements.

Why It Matters

The visit underscores the deepening relationship between China and Serbia, highlighting Serbia’s strategic importance as China’s gateway to Europe and its firmest ally in the Balkans. This partnership is evidence of China’s growing influence in the region and its commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative, which continues to reshape global trade and political dynamics.

Upon his arrival, Xi was welcomed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and other dignitaries with full honors, reflecting the significance of the visit. The leaders are set to meet against the backdrop of a somber anniversary, which saw 20 Chinese nationals wounded in 1999. Xi’s statements in the Serbian press emphasized the shared history and resilience of the two nations, vowing that the lessons of the past would forge a stronger bond moving forward.

Xi’s visit follows fruitful discussions in France, where he was urged by European leaders to promote balanced trade and leverage his influence to address global conflicts. In Serbia, the focus is on reinforcing the firm friendship that has been solidified through strategic partnerships and significant Chinese investments in Serbian infrastructure. The free trade agreement signed last year is set to activate in July, marking a new chapter in bilateral economic cooperation.

With Serbia and Hungary as staunch supporters of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi’s itinerary is indicative of China’s strategic interests in aligning with European nations that share its perspective. Serbia, in particular, is seen as a pivotal hub for China’s expansion into the European Union, with Chinese-run enterprises and infrastructure projects dotting the Serbian landscape.

The visit also reflects the delicate balance of international relations, as Serbia steers its position between its Western partners and its alliances with pro-Russia states. China’s role as Serbia’s second-largest trading partner and a top investor highlights the economic interdependence between the two countries and the broader implications for regional stability and cooperation.

As President Xi Jinping continues his European tour, the world watches closely to see how these partnerships will evolve and shape the geopolitical landscape in the years to come. The Sino-Serbian alliance, with its roots in shared history and mutual aspirations, stands as a powerful symbol of China’s growing global influence and the enduring spirit of international solidarity.

Key Takeaways

  • Xi Jinping's Serbia arrival coincides with the 25th anniversary of NATO bombing of China's embassy
  • Belgrade is Xi's second stop on his European tour, focusing on China's investments and potential deals in Serbia.
  •  Xi Jinping received a warm welcome in Belgrade, greeted by President Vucic and officials. They'll meet Wednesday.
  • The 1999 NATO bombing, injuring 20 Chinese, remains a painful memory. It was part of the campaign against Milosevic's crackdown in Kosovo.
  • The attack heightened tensions, sparking outrage and drawing global attention to the conflict's severity.