Home Featured China will ‘never forget’ NATO bombing its embassy in Serbia – POLITICO
China will ‘never forget’ NATO bombing its embassy in Serbia – POLITICO

China will ‘never forget’ NATO bombing its embassy in Serbia – POLITICO

by host

NATO officials said at the time that the embassy was mistakenly struck during a military intervention designed to protect Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority from being slaughtered by Slobodan Milošević’s forces. While the U.S. and other NATO allies have stood behind the decision to use force in what was then Yugoslavia, the alliance’s legacy is more complicated in the Balkans and in Beijing.

During the 78 days of airstrikes, many civilians were killed. Human Rights Watch put the death toll at 500 while Serbian officials said the number was closer to 2,000. The country’s leadership has remained committed to staying out of NATO.

In China, the embassy bombing provoked widespread outrage, prompting rare protests and a diplomatic incident between Washington and Beijing. Chinese officials and much of the public did not — and still do not — believe the incident was an accident.

“The Chinese-Serbian friendship, forged with the blood of our compatriots, will stay in the shared memory of the Chinese and Serbian peoples,” Xi wrote.

Serbia will be the second stop on Xi’s trip to Europe — his first in five years. He spent two days in France and will travel to Hungary for the last leg of the journey.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić will host Xi on Tuesday and Wednesday.

China has been pursuing opportunities to strengthen ties with the Balkan region for a decade as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. China is now the biggest foreign investor in Serbia.

Xi visited Serbia for the first time in 2016, when a series of bilateral agreements, including the Declaration on Strategic Partnership, were signed, reflecting China’s bid to boost its presence in the Balkans and more widely in Europe.

Source link

You may also like