BELGRADE -- A Chinese freight train has arrived in Belgrade, inaugurating a new direct freight railway line between China and Serbia.
Rail is one of the central traffic modes of China's Global Belt and Road Initiative, and the high-speed rail line from Belgrade to Budapest, as part of Rail Corridor 10, is a project that sees Serbia joining the initiative.
"We wouldn't be able to do most of this work without our Chinese friends. Chinese companies are active in building in all parts of our country," Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a welcome ceremony at the New Belgrade train station on October 24.
It took a month for the freight train to cover the 10,500-kilometer trip between the Chinese city of Jinan and the Serbian capital.
The train brought more than 500 tons of construction equipment to be used by Chinese companies building a high-speed rail line between Belgrade and the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
Serbia's Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure recently told RFE/RL that the frequency of the line between China and the Balkan nation will depend on the interest of both Chinese companies operating in Serbia and Serbian companies' interest in cooperating with China.
The value of the contract for the modernization and construction of the high-speed link is $350 million.