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Xi Jinping Visits HBIS Smederevo Steel Mill in Serbia

On the morning of June 19, 2016 local time, President Xi Jinping visited the Smederevo Steel Mill of the HeSteel Group (HBIS) in Belgrade.

Upon his arrival, President Xi Jinping was warmly received by President Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia at the parking space and welcomed by thousands of people lining along the streets, including workers of the steel plant and their family members as well as local citizens,.

Xi Jinping delivered a passionate speech. He pointed out that China and Serbia enjoy profound traditional friendship and hold special feelings towards each other, which is worth cherishing for both sides. In the early stage of China's reform and opening up, Serbian people's successful practice and experience provided rare reference for us. Today, Chinese and Serbian businesses join hands for cooperation, opening a new chapter in the bilateral cooperation in production capacity. This has not only carried forward the traditional friendship between the two countries, but also demonstrated the determination of both countries to deepen reform and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. Chinese enterprises will show sincerity in collaboration with their Serbian partners. I believe that with close cooperation between the two sides, the Smederevo Steel Mill is bound to be revitalized and play a positive role in increasing local employment, improving people's living standard and promoting the economic development of Serbia.

Xi Jinping stressed that the Chinese people follow a path of independence and peaceful development as well as mutual benefit, win-win results and common prosperity. China looks forward to forging more major cooperation projects with Serbia so as to make China-Serbia cooperation better benefit the two peoples.

Leaders of Serbia said in the speech that the HBIS Smederevo Steel Mill is another witness of the traditional friendship between Serbia and China. Having experienced a bumpy road of development, the Smederevo Steel Mill finally found hope of reinvigoration in its cooperation with the great and friendly China, thus opening a new page in its history. This cooperation project between Serbia and China will not only bring 5,000 local job opportunities and improve people's living standards, but also open up new prospects for more extensive Serbia-China cooperation.

Leaders of both countries visited the steel plant together. In the spacious hot-rolling workshops, roaring machines and rising hot vapor witnessed the manufacturing of all kinds of rolled and forged steel bars on production lines. Xi Jinping stopped from time to time to look at the products and ascended into the central control room to inquire about the processes in detail and learn about the production.

Afterwards, Xi Jinping, accompanied by leaders of the Serbian side, came to the staff dining hall to communicate and interact with workers. Xi Jinping spoke highly of the traditional friendship between the Chinese and Serbian people and encouraged the workers to work hard to enhance the overall competitiveness of the steel plant so that the cooperation project could bear fruits and benefit local people at an early date.

Founded in 1913, the Smederevo Steel Mill is a well-known century-old steel plant in the local area. This April, the HBIS invested in the plant, pulling it out of operation crisis and giving it new vigor.

Before visiting the steel plant, Xi Jinping took a tour to the Memorial Park of Mountain Avala to lay a wreath in front of the Monument to the Unknown Hero and left remarks on the commemorative book.

On the same day, Xi Jinping also attended the luncheon jointly hosted by Tomislav Nikolić and Aleksandar Vučić.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended the activities above.

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