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Wang Yi Talks About Three Highlights and Two Future Tasks of China-Greece Relations
2018-08-27

On August 27, 2018, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias of Greece, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out that located at the two ends of the Eurasian continent though, China and Greece enjoy long-lasting friendship and increasingly closer exchanges and cooperation. China-Greece relations have been serving as a successful model for countries of different sizes, systems, and cultures to achieve peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation. At present, the development of China-Greece relations has three highlights.

The first is the increasingly consolidated foundation of mutual trust. Both sides have always grasped China-Greece relations from a strategic height and long-term perspective, been adept at appreciating each other, focused on mutual understanding, firmly supported each other's just stance concerning respective core interests in particular, and accumulated mutual trust with a firm foundation, thus providing strong guarantee for the rapid and comprehensive development of bilateral relations.

The second is the constantly elevated practical cooperation. Both sides have regarded the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative as a common opportunity for the two countries, vigorously promoted the integration of development strategies and complement of each other's strengths, and achieved a series of major progress in cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, energy, transportation, and communication. Greece has become one of the most important investment destinations of China in Europe. Just now, Foreign Ministers of the two countries jointly signed the memorandum of understanding on inter-governmental cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, which will open up broader and brighter prospects for China-Greece cooperation.

The third is the constantly expanded people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Bilateral exchanges in culture and education have presented numerous highlights, as evidenced by increasingly closer scientific and technological cooperation as well as maritime cooperation and growing bilateral personnel exchanges. Meanwhile, China and Greece, as two ancient civilizations and outstanding representatives of the Eastern and Western culture, have jointly launched the Ancient Civilizations Forum, joined hands to draw experience from time-honored civilizations, and got inspiration from ancestors' wisdom, thus discovering new ideas and ways for solving the issues and meeting the challenges facing the current world.

Wang Yi pointed out that both sides agreed that China-Greece relations are facing two major tasks in the next stage.

The first is to accelerate the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and forge an updated version of China-Greece practical cooperation, in a bid to promote bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to new levels. Both sides will take the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation as an opportunity to closely integrate the Belt and Road Initiative with strategies of Greece in the construction of regional transportation, energy and service hubs, further enhance facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, and financial integration, and continue to steadily advance cooperation project at Piraeus port and the construction of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line. The Chinese side welcomes the Greek leaders to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China next year. The Chinese side is also willing to import more quality products from the Greek side to promote the more balanced growth of bilateral trade. The Greek side is welcome to send a high-level delegation to attend the first China International Import Expo.

The second is to deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and promote people-to-people bonds, in a bid to constantly consolidate the public opinion foundation of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership. To this end, the Chinese side will further enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation in such field as education, science and technology, sea, think-tank, media and tourism. The Chinese Cultural Center in Athens will be officially put into operation next year. The Greek side is welcome to open a cultural center in China at an early date and to attend the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 in Beijing as well. Besides, the Chinese side is willing to take the holding of the new ministerial-level meeting of the Ancient Civilizations Forum at an appropriate time into consideration. It is believed that the Greek side will give strong support to the meeting.

At last, Wang Yi stressed that China and Greece, facing the international situation that is full of uncertainties, stand ready to offer more stable factors and positive energy for this world. The two countries, as two nations that have accumulated achievements of human civilizations over the past thousands of years, also stand ready to make new contributions again to the cause of human progress.

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