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China, Greece agree to enhance comprehensive strategic partnership

2014-07-14 08:29 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the Rhodes Island in Greece, July 13, 2014. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the Rhodes Island in Greece, July 13, 2014. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday vowed to further enhance the comprehensive strategic partnership with Greece.

In a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Xi said Greece is a friendly and reliable friend of China in the European Union (EU), and that the two countries have enjoyed deep friendship as they showed mutual understanding and support on matters relating to each other's core interests and major concerns, and help each other in times of difficulty.

"The Chinese side will continue to support Greece on sovereign debt issues and efforts to promote economic recovery," said the Chinese president. "China is ready to share its development opportunities with Greece and further enhance the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership."

The two sides, said Xi, should maintain close high-level exchanges and focus on cooperation in transportation infrastructure, maritime, energy and green economy.

The Chinese side supports Chinese companies to properly manage the Piraeus port project and actively participate in the technical renovation of Greek railways, making Greece an important bridgehead of China-EU cooperation.

China attaches great importance to Greece's important position in the Mediterranean Sea and Southern Europe, said Xi, hoping that China-Greece cooperation would spearhead China's cooperation with other countries in the region.

Moreover, China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Greece in international affairs, jointly promote the democratization of international relations, safeguard world peace and promote common development, said Xi.

The Chinese president stressed that Beijing firmly supports Europe's integration and stands ready to build peace, growth, reform and civilization partnerships with Europe.

As Greece is an important member of the EU, China hopes the Greek side will continue to play a positive role in promoting China-EU relations, Xi noted.

For his part, Samaras thanked China's assistance in Greece's response to its sovereign debt crisis, which showcases the deep friendship between the two countries.

"The Greek side highly appreciates China's achievements in its reform and opening-up, and believes that China will play an increasingly more important role in the world," said Samaras. "Greece is firmly devoted to deepening bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership."

The Greek prime minister said his country is overcoming sovereign debt woes, and is having growing interest in bilateral cooperation such as in communication, energy, environmental protection, technology innovation, and modern logistics.

"Greece welcomes Chinese companies to expand investment in Greece' port, railway, and airport, making the country a gateway to the EU market," he said.

Stressing that Greece is ready to actively promote the friendly cooperation between China and countries in the Mediterranean Sea and the EU, Samaras said Greece and China, as two ancient civilizations, should promote fairness, justice, friendliness, and harmony in the international community, push for the joint resolution of global issues and challenges so as to boost world peace, stability and prosperity.

Accompanied by Samaras, the Chinese president toured the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 14th and 15th century and is one of the most well preserved medieval castles in Europe.

During the tour, Xi said China and Greece should expand people-to-people exchanges and jointly promote the traditional cultures of the two countries.

"China is ready work with Greece to expand people-to-people exchanges, strengthen education and tourism cooperation, and enhance the mutual understanding and friendship of both peoples," he said.

Visiting the Aegean Institute situated inside the castle, Xi noted that as China and Greece both have ancient ocean civilizations, and the next year marks the "China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Year," he hopes both sides will make contribution to building a peaceful and cooperative international maritime order.

The Chinese president is making a stopover on the southeastern Greek island of Rhodes on his way to Latin America, where he is set to pay state visits to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. He will also attend the sixth BRICS Summit and the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit in Brazil. [Special coverage]

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