Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Xi’s visit to Serbia, Hungary reflects Beijing’s limitations in EU-China relations, analysts say

Analysts said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Serbia and Hungary reflects China’s limitations amid the ups and downs in relations between Beijing and the European Union, VOA News reported.

Xi Jinping arrived in Belgrade on Tuesday with his wife Peng Liyuan for a state visit to Serbia. Xi and his wife arrived in Serbia after concluding their trip to France.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and his wife Tamara Vucic welcome Xi Jinping at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. Children welcomed Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan by giving them flowers and waving the national flags of China and Serbia.

Xi visited Serbia to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999. The US has apologized for what it called a “mistaken” bombing that killed three Chinese citizens and injured 20 others. Xi is expected to pay tribute to those killed at the site, which is now a Chinese cultural centre.

During his visit to France, French President Emmanuel Macron pressed Xi Jinping on Russia’s military action in Ukraine, trade disputes and human rights. It is noteworthy that Xi is on a six-day visit to Europe and after his visit to Serbia, he will go to Hungary.

Speaking to VOA News, Italian sinologist Francesco Sisi said China appears to be facing difficulties in its relations with European countries.

“It is interesting that … China did not manage to secure more important countries for Xi’s visit to Europe,” Sissi said. China seems to be having more difficulties in its relations with European countries, and it has good relations with two governments that also have good relations with Moscow. That is – Europe is increasingly moving away from China because it sees it too close to Moscow.

Serbia and Hungary, under Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, have developed close relations with Russia and China. China is investing billions in various projects in Serbia and Hungary, including electric vehicles, railways and factories.

Jae Ian Chong, associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, said Xi would try to emphasize China’s role in supporting stability.

“Xi will probably try to put pressure on the PRC [People’s Republic of China] “A role in supporting stability and perhaps not openly accusing the United States of being destabilizing and unnecessarily aggressive,” VOA News quoted J. Ian Chong as saying.

Two countries, such as China, have spoken out against US and EU sanctions on Russia over military action in Ukraine starting in 2022, although Hungary voted in favor of them.

Despite leading a nation that is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union, Orban has friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and he met on the sidelines of the Belt and Road International Cooperation summit forum held in Beijing. Had a conversation with him. october.

Unlike other EU members, Hungary continues to buy most of its fuel from Russia. Serbia is a candidate to join the European Union. Viktor Orbán is the only leader who attended the summit and met Xi Jinping.

Dragana Mitrovic, a political science professor at the University of Belgrade, said those relations have created tensions with Hungary’s partners in the West.

“At this moment of tense geopolitical competition and measuring economic and overall cooperation based on strategic gains and losses, Hungary will remain under pressure from Brussels and Washington when cooperating with China,” Mitrovic said, VOA News reported. “

Upon arriving in Serbia, Xi said in a written statement, “China and Serbia enjoy deep traditional friendship. Our bilateral relations have stood the test of the changing international environment and have become a good example of state-to-state relations.

Xi said he looked forward to the visit to discuss bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest with Aleksandar Vučić, renew friendship, plan cooperation, explore developments and draw a new blueprint for the development of bilateral relations. Want to take this as an opportunity.

“I am confident that this visit will be fruitful and open a new chapter in China-Serbia relations,” he said. Xi Jinping arrived in Serbia at the invitation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

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