China and Serbia issued a joint statement during a visit by Serbian President Boris Tadic to China, announcing the establishment of a strategic partnership.
Tadic arrived in Beijing early Wednesday for a week-long state visit, the first official visit by a Serbian head of state since Serbia was established as an independent state in 2006.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, in talks with Tadic in the Great Hall of People in Beijing before the signing ceremony, said the visit would lift bilateral ties to a new height.
Tadic visited China in 2005 when Serbia was part of a union with Montenegro. He also attended the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics last August as a guest of the Serbian Olympic Committee.
"Since you took office as Serbian president, you have always valued the China-Serbia relationship and contributed to the development of bilateral ties," said Hu.
Tadic will also meet China's top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Tadic will also visit Shaanxi Province, which hosts the Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum and the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, and Shanghai.
China-Serbia trade was valued at 125 million US dollars in the first five months of this year, down 33.1 percent year on year amid the global economic downturn.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2009)