Chinese-Serbian joint police patrols in key Serbian cities
In 2019, Chinese and Serbian police officers began to participate in joint patrols in areas of Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Smederevo. Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stephanovic justified the new role of Chinese police officers by pointing to the increase in Chinese tourists in Serbia since a 2017 agreement to not require visas for travel between Serbia and China. Stephanovic explained that Chinese officers made communication between tourists and the police easier, ensuring the security of tourists. In addition to joint patrols, the Chinese officers operate a Chinese-language emergency phone service and visit the areas in which Chinese businesses and citizens are located. However, though the move was justified as protecting tourists, Smederevo and Novi Sad are not tourist cities. A steel mill bought by a Chinese company in 2016 is the largest direct and indirect employer in Smederevo, and the Budapest-Belgrade railway, commissioned as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, uses Novi Sad as the key base before the Hungarian border.

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Date: 18 September 2019 - 17 October 2019
Country: Serbia