(28 Nov 2019) Serbian and Chinese security forces held a joint anti-terrorist drill in Serbia on Thursday, signalling Beijing’s increasing influence in the volatile region.
The drill, held at a China-owned steel mill near Belgrade, included special police troops from both countries and was part of a security agreement signed between the two countries earlier this year.
It was believed to be the first such drill to feature Chinese SWAT forces in a European country.
The security agreement with China also includes joint police foot patrols in three Serbian towns, formally to help the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting the country, and the installation of hundreds of Huawei-made facial recognition cameras throughout the Serbian capital.
The United States asserts that the Chinese telecommunication and technology giant poses a national security risk because of its ties to the Beijing government – a claim that Huawei has repeatedly denied.
Although it’s formally seeking European Union membership, Serbia has increasingly been turning toward Russia and China.
The two big powers support Serbia’s claim over its former province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008.
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