A Serbian man holds the Chinese national flag during a concert in support of China in Belgrade, Serbia on Feb. 22, 2020. Hundreds of Serbians and Chinese gathered at a concert at Belgrade Fortress here in the capital on Saturday, offering their solidarity with medical professionals and citizens in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, and China. (Xinhua/Shi Zhongyu)
Hundreds of Serbians and Chinese gathered at a concert at Belgrade Fortress here in the capital on Saturday, offering their solidarity with medical professionals and citizens in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, and China.
A moment of silence was observed for victims of the epidemic.
Addressing the audience, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic said: "I want to express my admiration for China which continues to surprise us with its speed, strength, efficiency in the battle against this vicious epidemic... Today, we must be with China with all our heart. We want to show our solidarity and provide whatever we can for our Chinese friends."
Stefanovic stressed that China is struggling to protect not only Chinese people, but the whole world.
Commending the close ties between Serbia and China, Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic said: "It is hard for all of us here as we watch what happens in China with lots of emotions and care. With a full heart, we give our strong support to our dear friends, and the great Chinese people."
According to Antic, China has demonstrated immense strength in the fight against an invisible, potentially fatal virus. "I am sure that China will win this fight and emerge stronger, will recover and continue to develop its economy, and that our friendship will continue," Antic noted.
Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo briefed the audience on China's efforts and measures in battling the virus, saying that the number of the newly infected is decreasing while that of those recovered is on the rise.
"Thank you, Serbian people, for your strong support for us. We firmly believe that the strength lies in solidarity and that China will emerge stronger," she said.
Goran Vesic, deputy mayor of Belgrade, was also present at the event.
During the concert, Serbian multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer Slobodan Trkulja performed songs in Serbian and Chinese, chanting at times with the audience messages of support to Wuhan and China.
After the concert, he told Xinhua that the Serbian people understand what China is going through, and wish to send messages of support and hope.
"We know what it means when people face difficulties. Our hearts beat together. We feel the pain that you are enduring ... My message is 'Keep up the fight' and be assured that the Serbian people are with you."
Concert goers also left their messages of support on a white board which has an inscription -- "People of Serbia is always with Chinese brothers".