Your Excellency, State Minister Alekos Flambouraris,
Mr. Panos Kouroumblis, Minister of Interior-Administration Reconstruction,
Mr. Thodoris Dritsas, Minister of Shipping and Island Policy,
Dear vice-ministers of the Greek government, Generals, Ambassadors,
Dear compatriots and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Tonight we are gathered in the historical building of Zappeion to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the People's Republic of China and the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Greece. China's development cannot be realized without peace and development of the world. China-Greece cooperation cannot go far without support and participation of people from both countries. At this special moment, please allow me to express sincere thanks and best regards to everyone involved for your contributions and sound wishes towards China and China-Greece relations.
On October 1st, 1949, the People's Republic of China came into being, which was an epoch-making event in the history of China and the world. Hundreds of millions of Chinese began the long march towards national revitalization.
After 67 years of arduous struggle, especially thanks to the relentless efforts since reform and opening up over the past 30-plus years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, China's GDP has realized historical leaps to become the second largest in the world. A people of 1.3 billion are living a generally well-off life. The days of short of material supply have become history. This is not only a tremendous change for China itself, but also an important contribution to world peace and development.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, President Xi Jinping and the central leadership have led the efforts for the "two centenary goals". The "two centenary goals" mean that by 2021, namely the centenary of the CPC, we will achieve the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects; and by 2049, the centenary of the founding of the P.R. China, China will be turned into a socialist modern country. It is fair to say that today's China is closer than ever and more confident and capable than ever to reach the goal of realizing national rejuvenation.
We are deeply aware that China is fine only when the world is fine. Therefore, China has been consistent on its path of peaceful development, in its opening up strategy for win-win results, and in its efforts for safeguarding international justice and promoting world peace and development. While unswervingly safeguarding its sovereignty, security, and development interests, China has also actively expanded exchanges and cooperation with other countries. The initiative of "One Belt and One Road" has received wide echo from over 100 countries and international organizations. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund are providing financial support for more and more countries. At the beginning of this month, China successfully hosted the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, in which China put forward its initiatives to build a world economy that is "innovative, dynamic, inter-related, and inclusive". The summit reached the "Hangzhou Consensus" and was one of the most fruitful meeting with far-reaching impact.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Both China and Greece are ancient civilizations. Peoples of the two countries cherish friendly feelings towards each other. China regards Greece as an important strategic partner in Europe. The two sides have similar stands and support each other on major regional and international issues. We hold dearly to our hearts the valuable support and help from Greece on many crucial and difficult moments. In 2006, then Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis visited China and declared with Chinese leaders the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. In 2013, then Prime Minister Samaras visited China. In 2014, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang visited Greece. In July this year, Prime Minister Tsipras paid a very successful and fruitful visit to China. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Tsipras agreed upon the goal of building the Port of Piraeus into an important supporting point for the "One Belt and One Road". The Cosco Piraeus Project is the "dragon head" of China-Greece cooperation. With the raised head of the dragon head, more and more Chinese businesses are coming to invest in Greece. The 2015 China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Year was a great success. Remarkable progress has been registered in the areas of culture, education, and science and technology. Next week the China-Europe Civilization Dialogue will be held in Athens. In late October, China and Greece will co-organize the 2nd China-ASEM Seminar on Science, Technology, Innovation for Sustainable Development. At the beginning of November, a delegation of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries will visit Greece to hold the "China-Greece Forum of Famous Ancient Cities" with the Amphictyony of Ancient Greek cities so as to build a structure for the exchanges of cities of the two countries. In 2017, China will be the honoured country for the Thessaloniki International Fair. The Chinese side is determined to continue its efforts with the Greek side to build China-Greece cultural exchanges into a fine example of dialogue, inclusiveness and mutual-learning between different civilizations so as to promote peace, stability, and harmony of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are proud of the important achievement made during the past decade and we are convinced to embrace even brighter prospects. I believe that, with concerted efforts, China and Greece, two cradles of human civilization, will reach common revitalization and that the next decade of our comprehensive strategic partnership will yield even more fruitful results for the benefits of the two countries and the world.
I would like to invite all of you to join me in a toast to the 67th anniversary of the founding of the P.R. China and to the 10th anniversary of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership!