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Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli Attends the Presentation of a Commemorative Series of Stamps on China-Greece Relations and Greek Version of the Book LIKI


On September 8, while in Thessaloniki for a series of activities held by China as the honoured country of the 82nd TIF, Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli attended the presentation of a commemorative series of stamps on China-Greece relations and Greek version of the Book LIKI, held at the Royal Theater of Thessaloniki. Over 400 people attended the event including Minister Pappas for Telecommunications, Justice Minister Kontonis, Minister Gerovasili for Administrative Reconstruction, Shipping Minister Kouroumblis, Deputy Energy Minister Famelos, Deputy Economy Minister Pitsiorlas, Deputy Foreign Minister Amanatidis, Ms. Efrosini Stavraki, President of ELTA, as well as friendly people from all walks of life in Greece and representatives of Chinese companies and diaspora in Greece.


Ambassador Zou pointed out that it was especially important that the event took place in the context of the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair where China is the honoured country, for it aptly demonstrated the two pillars of China-Greece relations, i.e., economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. TIF is a platform not only for the exhibition of commodities and technologies, but also for the sharing of cultures and thoughts. As two nations that have given birth to ancient civilizations in the East and West, we are deeply aware that without the foundation of cultural exchanges, economic cooperation will lose its soul.


Ambassador Zou pointed out that in recent years, China-Greece relations had become ever closer, as demonstrated by many significant and joyous events, from the year of maritime cooperation to the year of cultural exchanges and cultural industry cooperation, from the Ancient Civilizations Forum to the China-Hellenic Cities Forum, from China's being the honoured country of the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair to the soon-to-open direct flight between Beijing and Athens. All these are milestones in bilateral relations, with some exerting a broader influence in the international arena, such as the Ancient Civilizations Forum. They testify to the extraordinary path our two countries have been following, respecting each other, treating each other as equals, seeking mutually-beneficial cooperation and promoting world peace. ELTA celebrates these events through the issuance of stamps and first-day covers, the circulation of which among the people will surely further deepen our traditional friendship. The birth of the Greek version of LIKI is a huge gift for the year of China-Greece cultural exchanges.

Ambassador Zou stressed that China's being the honoured country of the 82nd TIF was another milestone in China-Greece relations and in China's cooperation with the Balkans and Southeast Europe. The Municipality of Thessaloniki has decorated the streets of the city with 5000 red Chinese lanterns. Today's presentation ceremony for the commemorative stamps and LIKI will once again allow the Chinese delegations to amply experience the friendship and warmth of the Greek people. The ambassador expressed his conviction that through the joint efforts of the two sides, China would be able to fulfill its role as the honoured country of the 82nd TIF and friendly cooperation between the two countries will turn into a new chapter.  


On his part, Minister Pappas said that cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries enjoyed a long history, which provided strong bond and support for deepening cooperation in various areas. In May this year, Prime Minister Tsipras attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing with great success. Leaders of the two countries reached important consensus on the development of bilateral relations. China is a global power, while Greece is the anchor of stability and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Balkans. The two countries enjoy broad prospects for cooperation in telecommunications, transport infrastructure, and energy. Minister Pappas said that the release by ELTA of a commemorative series of stamps and the Greek version of LIKI, under the framework of the Year of China-Greece Cultural Exchanges and Cultural Industry Cooperation, was of great significance, which made more Greeks familiar with the latest development of cooperation between the two countries. The development of Greece-China relations is beneficial for the promotion of Europe-China relations, and help safeguard regional stability and development.

Ms. Stavraki gave a briefing on the commemorative series of stamps. She said that small as they were, the stamps had recorded the big events in bilateral relations in recent years. The design of the stamps reflected both the Greek and the Chinese cultures.

A promotional video clip on the commemorative series of stamps was played at the event. Dr. Christos Kaftezanis, translator for the Greek version of LIKI, talked about his experience of translating the book. He said that LIKI reflected philosophy as well as political and social order in ancient China, which offered a good perspective for deepening understanding about China.


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