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Bilateral Relations

I. Political relations

Since Chinaand Greeceestablished the diplomatic relations on June 5, 1972it has seen a favorable development of the relations between the two countries. In 1980s, the Prime ministers of the two countries paid visits to each other. The Greek President and Speaker of the National Assembly visited China one after another and in 1990s there witnessed an increasing mutual visits at high levels and so the two countries have gained a favorable development of friendly cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, culture and military affairs. In March 1997, there witnessed an unstable situation in Albaniain which the Greek side as requested by the Chinese side sent gunboat over to help the withdrawal of the Chinese personnel away from Albania.

Since 1990s, the Chinese leaders of importance who visited Greece include: Vice-premier Zhu Rongji in 1994, Chainman of the NPC Qiao Shi in 1996, Chairman of the NPPCC Li Ruihuan in 1997, Chairman of the NPC Li Peng in 1999, President of the PRC Jiang Zemin in 2000, and Vice-premier of the State Council Li Lanqing in 2002. Personages of importance who visited China from Greece include: Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias and Minister of Sea Transportation Georgios Katsifaras in 1995, Chief procurator of the Supreme Procuratorate Aristides Dimopoulos in 1997, Minister of National Defence Akis Tsohatzopoulos in 1997, Minister of Internal Affairs Alexandros Papadopoulos in 1998, Speaker of the National Assembly Apostolos Kaklamanis in 1998, Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou in 1999 & 2002, Minister in Charge of Development Nikos Christodoulakis in 2000 and Prime minister Konstantine Simitis in 2002 and so on.

II. Trade relations and economic-technological cooperation

1. Bilateral trade:At the beginning of the establishment of the diplomatic relations the trade value of the two countries registered a mere 1.6 million in US dollars. In recent years it has witnessed a faster development of trade of the two countries. In 2001, the bilateral trade value reached US$ 752.3 million and 2002 rose to US$ 787 million, of which the Chinese export value came to US$ 732 million and the import was US$ 55 million, a respective increase of 5.5 and a decrease of 5.9 percent as against that of the same period before. The major commodities China exported to Greece include textile goods, light industry products, ships and vessels, electric apparatuses and toys, etc. while the major imports are the composite fertilizer, marbles, medicinal raw materials and aluminum and so on.

2. Bilateral economic-technological cooperation:The economic and technological cooperation of Chinaand Greecehas always been centering on the sea-shipping. During recent years the Greek vessels repaired in Chinareached an average of over 100 a year and an increasing subscription of new vessels year by year. In Greece, the cargo sea-shipping business Chinaundertook reached a yearly turnover of 4 million US dollars and Chinaalso provides Greek shipping companies with over 500 person/times of crews. The COSCO, China Mariners Technical Service Corporation and China Ships' Classification Society have set up their respective offices in Greece.

Up to the end of 2001, the projects invested by Greecein Chinacame to 41 in all with an agreed investment amounting to US$ 150 million while that actually used was 25.77 million in the US dollars. The major projects cover: The Barite Quarrying Co. in Henan, The Reinforced Cement Plank Making Co. in Foshan, Cosmos Building Material Shanghai Co. Ltd., Suzhou Car-seat Modeling Co. Ltd. and Petsetakis Plastics Linyi Co. Ltd. and so on.

III. Exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, science and technology, education and military affairs

In line with the cultural agreement of the two countries the two sides would sign successively a plan for the execution of cultural exchanges with each plan having a term of 3 ? 4 years. The two countries signed agreement for sci-tech cooperation in 1979 and so far eight meetings of the mixed commission have been held, the executed projects consisting of the fields in agriculture, energy resources, geology, oceanology, biology, medicine and elementary science and others with some of them having already achieved better results and social-economic effects. The two sides have an exchange of 5 scholarships every year.

In 1985, Shanghaiformed the friendly cities with a Greek city Piraeusand in 1997 Xianyang of Shaanxi Province also formed friendly cities with Nauplion.

Since 1990s, exchanges increased between the two armies. Vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and concurrently Minister of National Defence Chi Haotian and Greek Minister of National Defence paid visits to each other respectively in March 2002 and November 1997.

IV. Important bilateral agreementsundefined

1.  Sino-Greek Agreement on Trade payment in 1973

2.  Sino-Greek Ocean-shipping Agreement in 1973 and sequenced in 1995

3.  Sino-Greek Civil Aviation and Transportation Agreement in 1973

4.  Sino-Greek Cultural Exchange and Cooperation Agreement in 1978

5.  Sino-Greek Sci-tech Exchange and Cooperation Agreement in 1979

6.  Sino-Greek Economic-Technological Cooperation Agreement in 1983

7.  Sino-Greek Agreement for Tourism Cooperation in 1988

8.  Sino-Greek Agreement for Protection of Investment in 1992

9.  Sino-Greek Agreement for Aid and Assistance in Civil, Criminal and Legal Affairs in 1995

10. Agreement for Cooperation of Public Security Signed between the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and Greek Ministry for Public Order in 1995

11. Agreement Signed between the Government of the PRC and the Government of the HellenicRepublicon Avoiding Dual Taxation and Tax Evasion in 2002

12. Understanding Memorandum on Agricultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture of the PRC and the Ministry of Agriculture of the HellenicRepublicin 2002

13. Agreement on the Cooperation of Forestry between the State Forestry Administration of the PRC and the Ministry of Agriculture of the HellenicRepublicin 2002.

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