China – Chinese President Xi Jinping started a state visit to Serbia on 17 June 2016 to expand the bilateral ties of “all-weather friends” and push forward mutual cooperation between the two countries, which was also the first state visit by a Chinese head of state to Serbia in 32 years. Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan visited Jevremovac arboretum in Belgrade on Saturday 18 June and planted a rare Chinese dove tree, also known as Panda of the Plant Kingdom together with the Serbian First Lady. Peng said a good ecological environment is fundamental to the development of human beings and we share a common dream of building a green homeland. She believes the tree of China-Serbia friendship will certainly thrive well.
This dove tree was selected by Beijing Forestry University (BFU) and transported to Serbia by air before Xi’s state visit. Beijing Forestry University worked with State Forestry Administration and local forestry authorities in Sichuan to select 12 dove tree seedlings and, in less than two weeks, conducted a series of technological processing to guarantee the survival of the seedlings. After strict evaluation by BFU experts, six seedlings were picked and shipped to Serbia as a symbol of friendship.
As the top institute of forestry higher education in China, Beijing Forestry University has been dedicated to the technological innovation and development of plant breeding. This is the second time BFU selects seedlings for significant state activities. In March 2016, a ginko seedling was selected from a pool of more than 1,000 seedlings by Beijing Forestry University as a national gift for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Czech. The selections of trees for significant state activities indicate the remarkable academic and technological strength of Beijing Forestry University and its continuous efforts exerted to apply technological achievements into practice.