Editor's note: the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to inherit the spirit of the Silk Road, jointly build an open cooperation platform, create new opportunities for cooperation and development among countries. 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative and its construction. On this anniversary, we would like to launch a feature, "The Belt and Road Initiative in My Eyes", highlighting teachers from countries along the "Belt and Road" in our school about their views and experience of the international cooperation platform, the Belt and Road Initiative.
Serbia, one of the countries supporting the Belt and Road Initiative at first, has actively participated in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative for many years.
During his five years in GDUFS, Nemanja Glintic (Tao An), a foreign teacher at the Serbian Department of the Faculty of European Language and Culture in GDUFS, experienced his growth and witnessed the realization of the Belt and Road Initiative. Before coming to China, Nemanja was a teacher in Serbia, but his work in GDUFS made him feel the responsibility more strongly about what this profession gave him. He describes himself as a "screw" in the cultural exchange and cooperation between China and Serbia. When he stands on the podium, not only does he represent himself, but also his motherland. He believes teaching and educating is not merely about imparting language knowledge and skills to students, but also regards sharing the motherland's culture and promoting mutual appreciation among different civilizations through discussions about culture, attitudes, and values. Meanwhile, he is also very glad to witness the students go to Serbia, studying and working in Serbian, and contributing to bilateral friendly cooperation between China and Serbia with their actions.
Nemanja Glintic with his students
Nemanja also has unique and profound insights into the initiative and the bilateral cooperation between China and Serbia. He first heard about the Belt and Road Initiative when he was preparing to come to China in 2014. He believes that the Belt and Road Initiative has effectively grasped the real needs of the international community over the past decades. It has continuously offered the world new opportunities and achieved fruitful and remarkable results. Under the current international situation, unilateralism is not feasible. All-round and multi-field collaboration among countries is an essential prerequisite for joining hands to meet challenges and achieving common prosperity.
In 2018, the Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) launched the documentary "China: Imagination Beyond Imagination" as the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up was approaching. Its filming team dropped by GDUFS during their visit to China and spoke highly of the work of the Serbian language Department. The documentary not only enhanced the Serbian public's understanding and knowledge of contemporary China, but also affirmed the efforts made by teachers and students at GDUFS in the process of cultural exchange between China and Serbia. To GDUFS, such a publicity opportunity is precious.
The Belt and Road Initiative’s achievements in the cultural field are also remarkable. Nemanja thinks that cultural collaboration can provide a vital guarantee for the long-term, stable, and sustainable development of China-Serbia bilateral cooperation. Cultural exchange is a long process that requires not only a positive and open attitude from both sides, but also patience and a step-by-step progress. This process begins with learning about the "other" and eventually returns to a deeper insight into the "self", which is conducive to the development of all countries in the world together.
Nemanja believes that the Serbian Department in GDUFS is a dynamic team. He hopes, in the future, it will be more active in organizing and participating in cultural exchange activities and will publish its work results as much as possible. While providing excellent education, the Serbian Department can different techniques such as conducting academic lectures, literature and film salons, to name just a few. Besides, it can continue to promote cultural interconnection and mutual learning between the two countries and reinforce the friendship between China and Serbia.
The steely friendship between China and Serbia has been strong throughout its long history. At present, China and Serbia, the relationship between the two countries is at record high. The cooperation between China and Serbia has resulted in gratifying achievements in economy and trade, especially in infrastructure investment. Many construction projects, such as roads, railways, bridges, factories, and cultural centers, have provided a model for economic and trade cooperation between China and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. During the pandemic in 2020, China was the first country who offered help to Serbia. These two countries assisted in public health and overcame difficulties together to cope with the pandemic.