|China-Greece Relations with Greater Radiance in the New Era (Article by Ambassador Xiao Junzheng on AMNA)|
The autumn sky is clear, the wind is bracing and the autumn scenery is bright. Following an invitation by his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited China on 2-3 of November. The first official visit by a Greek Prime Minister to China in seven years will leave its mark on the traditional and friendly relations between our two countries and on our practical cooperation. This two-day visit, although brief, was rich in content. I had the honor of accompanying the Greek Prime Minister in all his activities in China, and I felt that his visit would create a positive impetus for further enhancing China-Greece cooperation, as well as China-EU relations.
This is a journey of friendship built upon political mutual trust. The highlight of our two countries’ exchanges came in November 2019, when President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited each other's countries within a week. Four years later, China has charted an independent path towards Chinese modernization, and Greece has entered a new stage of enhancing its competitiveness and improving the quality of life for its people. The Prime Minister’s visit to China, in less than six months after his re-election, along with his meetings and talks with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Qiang, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhao Leji, has set the stage for the future development of China-Greece relations, pointing towards the right direction for the healthy and stable growth of our comprehensive strategic partnership, and promoting the rejuvenation and development of our countries.
This is a journey of cooperation anchored in common development. During his meeting with the Greek Prime Minister, President Xi Jinping stated that China is willing to enhance synergy of development strategies with Greece, deepen cooperation in the fields of transportation, shipping, energy, communications and finance, expand cooperation opportunities in green economy, digital economy and scientific and technological innovation, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and push for the long-term, stable and sustainable development of Piraeus port. For over ten years, the successful development and operation of the port has allowed Greece to establish itself as a gateway connecting land and sea, and Europe to Asia, strengthening and expanding the practical cooperation of our countries. We were particularly pleased by Greece’s credit upgrade by two of China’s major rating agencies which occurred just before this visit and is expected to attract more high-quality Chinese businesses wishing to invest and operate in Greece. We would also like to invite Greek companies to explore the Chinese market through platforms such as the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and the China International Import Expo, and to welcome more high-quality Greek products to the Chinese market.
This is a journey of exchanges and mutual learning between two ancient civilizations. President Xi Jinping stressed that exchanges and mutual learning are the fundamental prerequisites for the advancement of civilizations. It is only through communication, and by drawing lessons from the achievements of other civilizations, that we can maintain our own vitality. The friendship between China and Greece is not just another partnership between two nations; it also encompasses the dialogue between our civilizations. During Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's visit to the Forbidden City, I could feel the deep appreciation that exists between our ancient civilizations. At their meetings, our leaders expressed their common intention to promote people-to-people cultural exchanges, and mutual learning between civilizations by enhancing our cooperation in culture, tourism, education, innovation, sports, and other fields, and supporting cultural cooperation mechanisms, such as the Center of Greek and Chinese Ancient Civilizations and the Forum of Ancient Civilizations. They also announced their plans to organize the China-Greece Civilizations Dialogue in 2024, contributing to the advancement of human civilization. China and Greece, the two ancient civilizations of the East and the West, will fully leverage the advantages of their cultural heritage to promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, contributing their wisdom and strength to the creation of a community with a shared future for mankind.
This is a journey to promote the healthy development of China-EU relations. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and the EU. Since the beginning of this year, exchanges and dialogue between China and Europe have been comprehensively resumed and reactivated at all levels and in all fields, with the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation rapidly warming up. The development of China-EU relations is linked to the well-being of the peoples of China and Europe, as well as to global peace, stability, and prosperity. We have always believed that China and the EU can talk to each other and engage and cooperate independently, on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. Being a member of the EU and a significant partner of China, Greece acts as a bridge, a link for strengthening China-EU relations. China-Greece cooperation can become a vital pillar of China-EU cooperation, benefiting not just our two countries but also promoting the overall development of China-EU relations. During Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's visit to China, our leaders agreed on the importance of the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations.
Since the establishment of our diplomatic ties 51 years ago, our relations have become a model of reciprocal respect and mutually beneficial cooperation between nations of different sizes, different political systems, and different cultures. As geopolitical conflicts and global challenges intensify, the need for understanding and communication grows. Through these, we can build a broader consensus and unite for peace and development. Mutually beneficial cooperation and mutual learning between China and Greece, two countries that have experienced many historical vicissitudes, bring positive energy and stability to the current chaotic international situation, and reflect the noble desire of our two peoples for international relations that are based on mutual respect, justice and win-win cooperation. I believe that the Prime Minister’s visit to China will mark a new starting point for deepening our comprehensive cooperation, heralding a brighter future for China-Greece relations.