Chinese leader Hua Kuo-feng arrived in Belgrade on Monday (21 August) to an enthusiastic welcome by thousands of Yugoslavians.
Chinese leader Hua Kuo-feng arrived in Belgrade on Monday (21 August) to an enthusiastic welcome by thousands of Yugoslavians. For Mr. Hua it is the second stop on an Eastern European tour, and the first time for more than 20 years that a Chinese leader has toured outside Asia.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Hua arrived after an hour's flight from Bucharest, the Rumanian capital, the first stop on his historic tour. He will be in Yugoslavia for nine days. The trip is part of the Chinese leadership's effort to open its contact with the outside world and to counter what they see as a Soviet drive to control ever larger areas of the world. Mr. Hua's visit is timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia which both Yugoslavia and Rumania condemned.
Huge crowds turned out in welcome as the motorcade drove through the streets of Belgrade to President Tito's official residence. As usual the Yugoslavian leader was not at the airport.
But when the two leaders did meet their greeting was cordial, with 86-year-old President Tito kissing Mr. Hua on both cheeks. The visit reflects Yugoslavia's eagerness to improve its once-cool relationship with China. This has improved rapidly since the death of Chairman Mao two years ago and especially after President Tito's visit to Peking last year. Officials in Belgrade say the two leaders are likely to discuss the current disputes and tensions in the world Communist movement as well as bilateral topics such as increased trade and technical co-operation.