Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece
2019/11/11

On November 11, 2019 local time, President Xi Jinping held talks with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece in Athens.

Xi Jinping pointed out, a few days ago, Mr. Prime Minister led a delegation to attend the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. Statistics show that the transaction volume of Greek businesses at the expo grew by 2.5 times compared with that at the first CIIE one year ago. China will unswervingly expand opening-up, and stands ready to bring more opportunities to the development of all countries, including Greece. Exchanges of civilizations and mutually-beneficial cooperation constitute two main links in China-Greece relations. As two countries with ancient civilizations, we need to work together to better benefit the two peoples and better boost the progress of mankind.

Xi Jinping made the following suggestions on China-Greece practical cooperation.

First, China and Greece should seek greater strategic integration between the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and Greece's strategy of building itself into an important international logistics transit hub. We need to turn the Piraeus Port into a key container transit hub in the Mediterranean region, fully give play to its role as a sea-rail transportation hub and improve the capacity of China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line.

Second, the two countries should expand two-way trade and investment, and enhance cooperation in such areas as electricity, telecommunications, manufacturing and finance. The Chinese side is willing to import more high-quality Greek agricultural products, and encourages more capable Chinese companies to invest and start businesses in Greece.

Third, the two sides should deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges. We need to adhere to inheritance and innovation and strengthen exchanges and mutual learning in inheriting the rich cultural heritage of our ancestors, and we need to inherit the past and usher in the future and make constant reforms and innovations in the current trend of world development. Both sides should promote personnel exchanges and cooperation at sub-national levels by hosting the year of culture and tourism in 2021 in each country. We should support the cooperation in scientific and technological innovation, including joint research.

Fourth, we should jointly advance the China-European Union (EU) relations. Greece is an important member of the EU and also an important country in the Balkan region. The China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) cooperation mechanism enriches the connotation of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Greek side to well build the cooperation mechanism and jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade to achieve mutually beneficial and all-win results.

Xi Jinping stressed, Confucius once said that a man of virtue will not be isolated. And Aristotle once said that a true friend is one soul in two bodies. Equal respect, friendly cooperation, opening-up and inclusiveness, and the enterprising spirit are the shared characteristics of our two great nations, and also the powerful driving force for us to seek development with joint efforts. I believe that with concerted efforts of both sides, China-Greece relations will surely deliver more fruitful results and we will make greater contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, China is a great ancient civilization and plays a decisive role in promoting world peace and development. The achievements of China's economic development are unique and can be called a miracle of human society. China's further opening-up will provide more opportunities for all countries, including Greece. Greece-China cooperation is of strategic significance, and the Greek people thank China for its valuable assistance during the financial crisis. The Greek side will continue to firmly support China on issues concerning the Chinese side's core interests, and will take an active part in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative to build the Piraeus Port into the largest port in Europe and promote Eurasian connectivity. Greece hopes to become a gateway for China to enter the European market. Chinese businesses are welcome to invest and start businesses in Greece, which will strongly promote economic growth and local employment. It is hoped that both sides will strengthen exchanges and cooperation in shipping, energy, e-commerce, culture, education, tourism and other fields. The Greek side disagrees with the opinion that CEEC-China cooperation will divide Europe, and will continuously remain committed to such cooperation and play a positive role in promoting the overall EU-China relationship. I believe your visit will achieve fruitful results and become a new important milestone in the development of Greece-China and EU-China relations.

After the talks, the two leaders met journalists and attended a ceremony for the exchange of bilateral cooperation documents covering investment, port, finance, energy, education and other fields.

The two sides issued a joint statement on strengthening comprehensive strategic partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Hellenic Republic.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others were present.