Chinese delegation meets Belgrade officials

BELGRADE, Jan 18, 2000 -- (AFP) A delegation of the Chinese Association for International Understanding met here Monday with several Serbian and Yugoslav officials, Tanjug news agency reported.

The group headed by Li Guixian, a vice chairman of Beijing's top parliamentary advisory body the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met with the speakers of the two houses of the Yugoslav parliament, Milomir Minic and Srdja Bozovic, Tanjug said.

The delegation also met Gorica Gajevic, secretary-general of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia which issued a statement saying the "friendly relations" between the SPS and the Chinese association would "contribute to development of the already friendly relations between the two countries."

Tanjug said the Chinese group also visited the body set up by Milosevic to take charge of reconstruction work after last year's NATO bombing.

The delegation expressed China's interest in "continuing to invest in reconstruction projects" in Serbia and Yugoslavia, Tangug said.

Independent economists have put damage estimates caused by NATO air strikes at 60 billion dollars.

Relations between Yugoslavia and China have warmed over the past few years while Belgrade's relations with the principal western countries have become more chilly.

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