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U.S.-China Rivalry Intensifies Over Serbia’s Weapons Deals

Daniel Kim Views  

During the state visit of Xi Jinping, General Secretary and President of China, Serbia has been elevated to a partner in China’s advanced weapons sales, enhancing security cooperation between the two nations. Consequently, a significant escalation in the competition for influence between the U.S. and China over advanced weapons sales in the Balkans is anticipated.

Xinhua News Agency

According to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on May 11th, Xi, in a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić on May 8th, agreed to develop and promote new quality productivity jointly and to establish advanced industry cooperation projects. They also decided to deepen cooperation in space science and technology.

Although the joint statement released after the summit did not specifically mention this military cooperation, its mention of collaboration in the war against terror suggests a potential shift. Moreover, this agreement between the two countries was made. At the same time, Serbia strengthened its military ties with China by procuring advanced weapons such as drones and missile defense systems, making it even more significant.

Serbia, which operates its military based on old Soviet technology, is unique among European nations in its use of Chinese-made weapons. Recently, Serbia has steadily increased its purchases of drones and missile defense systems from China, including the CH-92A combat drone and the FT-8C laser-guided missile, with 6 and 18 units imported in 2020. The FK-3, an export model of the HQ-22 missile system received in 2022, can also be mentioned.

In addition, it is known that Serbia acquired the CH-95 drone last year. President Vučić’s announcement in February that “Serbia will purchase more (Chinese-made) drones” speaks volumes. It is only natural for the U.S. to be particularly tense as China secures European allies.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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