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Opening a new era of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership

By Zhang Qiyue (People's Daily)    15:58, November 12, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Greece for a state visit from November 10 to 12 at the invitation of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. It is the first visit of a Chinese president to Greece in the past 11 years and will surely be a milestone in the history of China-Greece relations.

Chinese and Greek flags on the streets of Greece. (Photo by Hua Fang from People's Daily)

China and Greece have a long history of contacts. As early as 2,000 years ago, people of the two countries traded goods through the ancient Silk Road, which traversed the Eurasian continent. Profound cultural heritage, similar historical circumstances and similar values have made China and Greece natural friends and partners.

China-Greece friendship is as firm and enduring as a rock as the two countries respect and support each other, stand together through thick and thin, and share weal and woe.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972, especially the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2006, the traditional friendship between the two countries has been further deepened and cooperation in various fields has flourished.

The Chinese people will never forget that Greece helped the Chinese government evacuate Chinese citizens from war-torn or troubled areas on four different occasions. In February 2011, the Greek government and people overcame numerous difficulties, working with China to evacuate more than Chinese 13,000 nationals from Libya to the Greek island of Crete and helping the people fly back home.

Similarly, the Greek people will never forget that when Greece was faced by sovereign debt crisis, China stood firmly with the country and helped it overcome difficulties.

In recent years, China-Greece relations have gradually developed into a model of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between countries of different sizes, systems and cultures under the joint efforts of leaders from both countries.

During his visit, President Xi and his Greek counterpart will jointly draw up a blueprint for the development of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership, make new plans for advancing cooperation in various fields, and push for joint building of a community with a shared future for mankind, thus injecting new impetus into China-Greece relations.

China and Greece will jointly build the Belt and Road, so as to create new opportunities for mutual benefit and win-win results.

Greece firmly supports and actively participates in the joint building of the Belt and Road, and it is the first developed European country to sign the memorandum of understanding with China on jointly building the Belt and Road.

Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the Greek port of Piraeus has become a shining pearl along the Belt and Road and led to fruitful cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

China and Greece will work together to build the Belt and Road in a direction of high-quality development.

The two countries will jointly promote the "17+1" cooperation, so as to launch new platforms for practical cooperation. As an important country in Central and Eastern Europe, Greece became a full member of the cooperation mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European Countries in April this year, expanding the "16+1 cooperation" to "17+1 cooperation".

This move is conductive to strengthening and expanding the space for the mechanism and further enriching the connotation of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership.

China and Greece will carry out all-round, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation under this mechanism, making new contributions to regional cooperation and development.

China and Greece will jointly advocate dialogue among civilizations, so as to lead a new trend of exchanges and mutual learning.

During the Axis Age of human civilization between 800 BC and 200 BC, great thoughts were generated in ancient Greece, ancient China and other civilizations, which have been influencing human life.

As two ancient civilizations with a history of thousands of years, both China and Greece firmly oppose the idea of "clash of civilizations" in today's international environment and call for dialogue, exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations. The two countries also jointly initiated the Ancient Civilizations Forum.

Greek President Pavlopoulos visited China in May and attended the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations. During Xi's visit to Greece, the leaders of the two countries will have cultural exchanges and interactions to jointly promote dialogue among civilizations.

As the world faces major changes unseen in a century, China and Greece, two ancient civilizations, will show the world their historical responsibility and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

We expect and believe that China and Greece will join hands to usher in a new era of fruitful comprehensive strategic partnership.

(Zhang Qiyue is Chinese Ambassador to Greece) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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