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Premier Zhu Rongji Held Talks with Greek Prime Minister Simitis

On June 3, 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji held talks with visiting Greek Prime Minister Constantine Simitis at the Great Hall of the People. In a warm and friendly atmosphere, the two sides exchanged in-depth views and reached broad consensus on bilateral relations and the international and regional issues of common concern in a frank and sincere way.  

Premier Zhu first welcomed Prime Minister Simitis. He said that Simitis is the first Greek Prime Minister to visit China in 16 years. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Greek diplomatic relations. Zhu believed that the visit would deepen the understanding and friendship between the two countries and the two peoples, and promote further development of the Sino-Greek relationship in the new century.

Zhu said that since China and Greek forged diplomatic relationship 30 years ago, the two countries have developed their relations smoothly. There is no unsettled issues between the two countries. The constant contacts maintained between the leaders of the two countries have played an irreplaceable role in enhancing the mutual understanding and mutually beneficial coorperation betweent the two sides. The two sides have carried out smooth coorperation in the fields of science and technology, culture, economy and trade, shared the same or similar views on many major international issues and cooperated well in the international affairs.
Zhu extended his appreciation for Greece's adherence to the One China policy, its understanding of China's position on human rights and its standing for dialogue and against confrontation. He said that both China and Greece are at a vital developing stage in today's ever mutil-polarizing and economically globalizing world. China is willing to make concerted efforts with Greece to promote bilateral ties.

Zhu made four proposals:

1. Continue to maintain the good momentum of bilateral ties to improve mutual understanding;

2. Enhance cooperation to boost balanced and healthy trade and economic cooperation;

3. Promote non-governmental cooperation alongside official ones to expand bilateral cooperation in tourism, science and technology, sports, culture, and strengthen  cooperation in the renewable resources, biology technology, telecommunications and other high tech fields;

4. Increase cooperation on preparations for the Olympic Games to highlight the cultural feature of the Games.

Simitis felt quite pleased to visit China at the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countreis. He said that both Greece and China have long cultural traditions, which is the bridge for mutual understanding and communication between the two countries. He said that at present both countries are faced with the common task of developing their respective economies and are dedicated to the cause, which provides an opportunity for the development of the bilateral relations.

Simitis said he is satisfied with the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, holding that the bilateral trade volume has increased rapidly and cooperation in such fields as shipping and technology has advanced smoothly. He noted that the potential in the economic and trade field is still great and prospects broad. The Greek government is willing to promote cooperation in culture, tourism and agriculture, and especially in  hosting the Olympic Games with China, to push forward the bilateral relations.

Simitis said that Greece will be the rotating chair of the European Union (EU) in the first half of next year, saying that the Greek government hopes to play an active role in promoting ties between the EU and China. The Greek side believes that China has made magnificent achievenments in economic construction and social development and the EU should pay more attention to the development of its relations with China.  

Simitis reiterated that Greece would adhere to the One China policy and support  the reunification cause of China. He appreciated the important and active role China plays in international affairs, saying that China should play a more important role in a multi-polar world.

The two sides also exchanged opinions on current international situation, the Middle East issue, South Asian situation and other international and regional issues.

After the talks, Zhu and Simitis attended the signing ceremony for three cooperation agreements.
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