Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on Thursday that Serbia was “learning from those who are bigger and stronger” during a joint police exercise with China – announcing that Serbian police officers will go to China soon.
“It is a natural flow for us to learn from each other in order to be better trained. We want to make progress. I expect an exchange with China,” Stefanovic was quoted as saying by the Serbian news agency Tanjug.
Thursday’s exercise was held at the Still Plant in the town of Smederevo, which is owned by Chinese firm HBIS. The event in which 180 police members, 20 vehicles and three helicopters took part was attended by the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, and the Chinese ambassador to Serbia.
According to the press release, it demonstrated their ability to disable terrorists and release hostages.
China is playing a growing role in the Balkans and in Serbia in particular.
Interior Minister Stefanovic on August 2 said joint police patrols would start this autumn in three Serbian towns and cities – Belgrade, Novi Sad and Smederevo.
The Serbian authorities have also made a deal with China’s telecommunications company Huawei to make the company a strategic partner of the Serbian government for the development of a smart cities strategy in several cities.
Serbia is among the Balkan countries included in China’s ambitious plan to open up trade links in Europe. As part of this plan, China has already invested billions in Serbia, mainly in infrastructure.