On October 15th, Ning Jizhe, Vice-Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, was invited by the Hungarian side to address the foundation-laying ceremony of the Hungarian section of the Hungary-Serbia Railway by way of a video message. Also attending the event were Dr. László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Science of Hungary, and Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic, Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia.
In his speech, Vice-Chairman Ning Jizhe pointed out that President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Orbán Viktor, President Aleksandar Vučić and other leaders of China, Hungary and Serbia attach great importance to the construction of the Hungary-Serbia Railway. Since 2013, the relevant departments and teams of the three countries have been working together to overcome difficulties and have made important progress of the project.
In his speech, Vice-Chairman Ning Jizhe stressed that the joint efforts of China, Hungary and Serbia in promoting the construction of the Hungarian-Serbian Railway will help further deepen mutual understanding, inject a strong impetus into the friendly cooperation and mutually beneficial relations among the three countries, improve infrastructure and economic development in Hungary and Serbia, steadily advance the China-Hungary and China-Serbia comprehensive strategic partnerships, enhance the connectivity between Hungary and Serbia with the rest of Europe, promote infrastructure development and economic growth in Europe, and deepen China-Europe cooperation for mutual benefits.
The Hungary-Serbia Railway is a flagship project of China-Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation, an important project of the European Transport Corridor and China-Europe Land-Sea Express Route, as well as a major project to align China’s Belt and Road Initiative with European development strategies. The Hungary-Serbia Railway is about 300 kilometres long, of which the Hungarian section is 158.8 kilometres, with a design speed of 160 kilometres per hour. The railway journey between Budapest, Hungary and Belgrade, Serbia is expected to be reduced from the current 8 hours to less than 3.5 hours after the completion of the whole line, which will significantly improve accessibility of the local people.