Greek president Katerina Sakellaropoulou touted burgeoning trade ties between China and Greece during a meeting with Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe in Athens.
Speaking during the Greek leg of Wei Fenghe's international tour, Sakellaropoulou hailed the comprehensive strategic partnership struck between the two countries and its continued development.
Thanking President Xi Jinping for his warm wishes on the 200th anniversary of Greek independence, she commended China's strong support in the fight against COVID-19.
Greece had celebrated the anniversary with a parade of military hardware through Athens amid continuing tensions with former colonial power Turkey.
Sakellaropoulou went on to recognize China's achievements in economic and social development, saying that Greece was ready to actively participate in the Belt and Road and 17+1 initiatives, both of which aim to strength trade ties between Beijing and Europe.
In turn, Wei said that the friendship between China and Greece had a long history and their joint work on the Belt and Road Initiative had been highly effective. Greece is a key link in the trade route, in particular the Chinese-owned port of Piraeus which offers an entry point to central and eastern Europe.
Wei added that China would continue to work with Central and Eastern European countries to promote cooperation in various fields, one of the key areas being defense.
He offered to strengthen strategic communication with the Hellenic Forces and conduct extensive personnel training together to deepen cooperation while further developing the relationship between the two armies.
The Chinese defense minister also took the opportunity to hold talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Panagiotopoulos, sharing their views on military ties as well as defense on an international and regional scale.