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Speech of Ambassador Zou Xiaoli at the Media Reception

Dear colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy for the media reception. I have several pieces of good news to share with you.

First, as can be seen on the big screen on my right hand, my Embassy launched its official website in Greek language this morning. It is the result of brilliant wisdom and hard work of my colleagues both of the Embassy in Athens and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. I am very proud of them and would like to pay tribute to them. We will keep improving the website, enrich its content, and provide to our readers more fresh information on China-Greece relations and our cooperation in various areas. I also count on your valuable support and look forward to your ideas and suggestions.

Second, China Greece Times issued its first Greek edition today. On behalf of my Embassy, I would like to offer warm congratulations to the newspaper, which is represented by Ms. Liang Manyu here with us. Over the past 10 years, China Greece Times has played a unique role in helping the Chinese community in Greece learning about the politics, economy, and society of Greece, reflecting the aspirations and demands of the local Chinese residents, and linking them to their motherland. Being a beautiful name card of the Chinese community groups in Greece, China Greece Times has been invited to China several times to share experience with media run by other Chinese communities worldwide. With the launch of its Greek edition, the newspaper will increase its recognition and influence, thus becoming an important platform for the Greek people to know about China, Chinese companies, and Chinese communities in Greece, which will contribute to furthering exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. It is sure to receive attention and be welcomed by Greek people from all walks of life.

Third, in recent months large numbers of refugees from the Middle East have been entering Greece. The Greek government and people are trying with tremendous efforts to properly settle them, but the pressure is still mounting. The Chinese community groups and companies in Greece are also deeply concerned and would like to demonstrate their solidarity in dealing with the difficulties. Last week, Chinese businessmen in Thessaloniki donated 3000 shirts, 500 pairs of shoes, and food to the UNHCR through its office in Greece. Just now, I learnt that eight associations of overseas Chinese in Athens also decided to donate supplies and money totaling up to 160,000 Euros to help Greece settling the refugees. Chinese companies, including PCT of Cosco, ZTE Hellas, and Huawei Technologies S.A., have also confirmed to donate 65 telephone devices, 10 Videophones, 3 Telephone Center VOIP Gateways, 1 Fingerprint Scanner, 150 sets of bedding, and 1000 personal hygiene kits. Their fast mobilization reflects the spirit of international humanitarianism and the strong relationship between our two countries. The Chinese government, people, and overseas Chinese in Greece will never forget the valuable support we got from the Greek side during our times of difficulties. Greece is an important bridge in the economic and cultural exchanges between China and Europe. The stability and prosperity of Greece is of great significance for China, China-EU relations as well as peace and development in the region.

Last but not least, Mr. Zhai Muo, renowned Chinese painter and navigator, led his sailing team to Athens last Friday. He is here with us today. Let’s welcome him with a warm round of applause. Mr. Zhai’s team left China from Fujian Province on April 20. They have crossed the South China Sea, the Straight of Malacca, the Indian Ocean, the Arab Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean, covering a total distance of over 10,000 nautical miles. This trip, with the name “Following the Maritime Silk Road”, is an important event in maritime cultural exchanges using ocean sailing as a media, which is the first of its kind by a Chinese. Mr. Zhai has been warmly received by countries including Greece along the Maritime Silk Road, and conveyed the positive energy of friendship, peace, and cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Recent years have seen encouraging momentum in the development of China-Greece relations, with significant outcomes and breakthroughs in various areas of cooperation. In particular, Cosco’s investment in the Port of Piraeus and the China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Year have played a guiding role, with extensive positive impact in Greece, China, and European countries. In terms of media and the press, the Greek Embassy in China now has its Weibo in Chinese (Weibo is a social media like “Facebook”). Some Greek radio and TV stations and magazines have joint programmes and columns with their Chinese counterparts. Newspapers of the two countries have begun to publish articles of scholars of each other’s country. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the PRC and the Hellenic Secretariat General of Information & Communication have met several times to encourage media cooperation between the two countries. Here I would like to express my appreciation to “Kathimerini”, “To Vima”, Maroussi, and GB Times for their precious attention and support for China-Greece relations. I am convinced that the launching of the Embassy’s website in Greek and the Greek edition of China Greece Times will offer more perspectives for the people of our two countries to know ourselves, know each other, and know the world, and inject new vigour into the development of bilateral relations.

I would like to take this opportunity to make a few remarks on the current state of the Chinese economy, which has been wildly covered by world media these days. It is fair to say that the Chinese economy has maintained steady and relatively fast growth, with adequate foreign exchange reserves and multiple means of economic control and regulation. There is no basis to speculate long-term depreciation of the RMB, which will remain basically stable on a reasonable and balanced level. The main driving force behind the Chinese economy is domestic demand, which is huge. China will continue to adapt to the “new normal” of the economy, maintain financial stability, expand import and external investment, and make bigger contribution to world economic growth.

China has always been confident about itself, about China-Greece cooperation, and about the ability of Greece to overcome difficulties and realize vitalization. In the eyes of we Chinese, Greece has been and will always remain a reliable friend and strategic partner. My Embassy is ready to work closely with the Greek media, the business community, and the cultural communities to continue to pass on the positive energy of solidarity, mutual trust, and cooperation through various channels in order to bring the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries to a new high.

Thank you!

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