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Chinese President Starts 'Historic' Serbia Visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Serbia as the cash-strapped Balkan country seeks funds for infrastructure projects to spur growth.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and government officials welcomed Xi on June 17 as he landed at Belgrade's airport.

Serbian leaders have described the three-day visit -- the first by a Chinese president in some 30 years -- as historic.

Serbia has enjoyed good relations with China since the 1990s, when Belgrade was economically isolated for its role in the conflicts that accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Since 2009, when the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement, China has invested more than $1 billion in Serbia.

From Serbia, Xi will head to EU-member Poland before wrapping up his tour in Uzbekistan, where he will attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters