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China’s economic power is growing throughout the world far beyond its traditional spheres of influence, even penetrating the Balkans.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic told journalists that Beijing has granted Serbia a low interest $300 million loan to build a thermal power plant in Kostolac.
Dacic said that the information was disclosed during a meeting with the high-level delegation of the China’s Communist Party and its Political Bureau, Serbia’s Tanjug news agency reported.
Dacic added that he was committed to further strengthening economic relations with China and said that bilateral economic ties should be at the same level as political ones, thanking the Chinese representatives for China’s “principled” stand on the issue of Kosovo-Metohija, which Serbia continues to maintain is an integral part of the Serbian nation. Dacic concluded that Serbia reciprocally supports China's political stands, underlining that, "in this part of the world China has no greater friend than Serbia."
China's high-level delegation, led by Political Bureau's Standing Committee and Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection member He Guoqiang, met with Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and later signed a number of bilateral agreements.
Ironically, during the Cold War China’s sole Balkan ally was Serbia’s neighbor, Albania, as the then state of Yugoslavia, of which Serbia was the largest republic, maintained a neutralist stance between East and West.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com