Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Greece will upgrade and further deepen bilateral relations at the political level, as well as in the economic and cultural sector, and proliferate bilateral trade, investments, tourist flows and cultural exchanges, the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos told People’s Daily.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan are greeted by senior Greek officials upon their arrival at the airport in Athens, Greece, Nov. 10, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
The Greek President noted that Greece’s cooperation with China has witnessed a major growth over the last years.
In recent years, China and Greece maintained frequent high-level exchanges. In this year alone, the two heads of state of the two countries have exchanged visits in just half a year, resembling and important mark of the high-level development of bilateral ties.
Pavlopoulos believes that the relations are founded on the friendship and cooperation of the two peoples, and bolstering bilateral economic relations is beneficial for both sides.
One key element of the world economy, as currently developed, is the high-degree dependence of the economies of big countries, he said, noting that in the era of globalization, it is only through international, multilateral and bilateral cooperation that can countries drastically tackle modern challenges, on the level of economy and security, as well as environmental protection, since these problems hardly have any national borders nowadays
Greece was an important country on the ancient Silk Road. Today, the Pireaus Port has become an important component in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), serving as a pillar for China-Greece economic and trade ties.
Pavlopoulos extended his sincere gratitude to China, saying that the emblematic investment of COSCO at the Piraeus port - if nothing else in a period where the Greek economy was in great need of major investments that would allow it grow - bore a major significance for his Country.
The opening of new and safe trade roads and the completion of connectivity projects will further promote the economic and trade ties between the two countries. Pavlopoulos believes that the Pireaus Port will make significant contribution to the BRI.
“We expect our country to play a more active part in the BRI through our involvement in additional domains of cooperation, such as the Belt and Road Sports Tourism, the Green Belt and Road, Belt and Road Culture Development,” the president said, adding that Greece is ready to welcome more investments from China.
“We, Greeks fully understand and value, at the highest degree, this particular dialogue of civilizations, given that we are heirs and epigones of a great civilization, that of Ancient Greece,” Pavlopoulos noted. At invitation, he attended the Conference on Dialogue of Asia Civilizations (CDAC) in May.
In his eyes, the Forum of Ancient Civilizations jointly initiated by China and Greece, as well as other initiatives, such as the Conference on Dialogue of Asia Civilizations (CDAC), forcefully demonstrate the importance both Greece and China attach on the role of civilization.
Pavlopoulos said that civilizations are a bridge that brings people together, and the meetings showcase, in the most emphatic manner, the complementarity of civilizations, which should function with the purpose of crowning, in the best way possible, the universal principles of harmonious coexistence, mutual respect and mutual understanding, and this has been correctly understood by the Chinese leadership.
“As I mentioned last May, real civilizations do not clash, but rather coexist and evolve,” he remarked, saying that in an era where racism, fundamentalism and extremism unfortunately gain ground, the dialogues between civilizations bear specific importance.
The Greek President noted that China is a country that asserts itself in the world in a peaceful, orderly and consistent manner since its founding 70 years ago, hailing Chinese government’s success to sustain a “very good level of order and security” and maintain sustainable medium-to-high speed of growth.
“The reforms China has made during the last years have significantly changed the face of the country: very few countries get to be proud for managing to pull their population out of poverty in such a fast pace,” he told People’s Daily.
Pavlopoulos stressed that consequently, the measures taken by the Chinese Leadership in order to tackle poverty, both domestically and globally, as well as its impressive policies on the promotion of growth, innovation and research are definitely worthy of congratulations.
With regard to President Xi Jinping, Pavlopoulos said he is definitely a great leader of international stature who has led China to new paths of significant achievements and new perspectives of pride.