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Xi Says Serbia Could Play Important Role In New ‘Silk Road’

Serbia could play a significant role in Beijing’s ambitious plan for a new “Silk Road” to increase trade with Europe, Asia, and Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on June 19.

Xi said China was prepared for increased cooperation with Belgrade during a visit to Serbia.

He was touring the Zelezara Smederevo steel plant at the end of his three-day visit and was cheered by flag-waving workers at the plant, which was recently bought by a Chinese steel giant.

China's One Belt, One Road initiative foresees a new Silk Road from western China to Central Asia and on to Europe through the Balkans.

China has invested more than $1 billion in Serbia since 2009 and is interested in energy, infrastructure, and other projects to fuel its economy at home.

From Serbia, Xi will head to EU-member Poland before wrapping up his tour in Uzbekistan.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP