China and Greece have benefited greatly from bilateral cooperation over the past half-century and are moving forward to seize opportunities to strengthen ties in the future, officials and scholars from both sides said Friday during a symposium held both online and offline.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Greece-China diplomatic relations, the event, entitled "China and Greece: From Ancient Civilizations to Modern Partnership," was hosted at the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Chinese Embassy in Greece.
After a review of accomplishments achieved to date through China-Greek collaboration in many fields, the speakers stressed that there was huge potential for synergy in the coming years.
Greek Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos said in his congratulatory letter that the basis of the strong friendship and cooperation between Greece and China is the mutual respect among two great ancient civilizations.
"My country wishes the further enhancement of bilateral relations," he added.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Greece Xiao Junzheng said that over the past 50 years, the two countries have increasingly strengthened mutual political trust, setting an example of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between different countries and civilizations.
"No matter how the international circumstances change, the two countries have always respected, understood, trusted and supported each other," said the ambassador.
In the new era, to tap into new opportunities and address new challenges, Greece and China must continue to respect and trust each other, pursue mutual beneficial and win-win cooperation, and press ahead with mutual learning, which involves dialogue between civilizations and people-to-people exchanges, particularly strengthening cooperation in education, youth, tourism and other fields, he added.
"We share a common past through centuries and I am certain we will share a common future. I thank you for the investments already made. Your investments are welcome," Greek Minister of Development and Investments Adonis Georgiadis said during a video speech.
"In the 21st century the (China-proposed) Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), rooted in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, is an initiative that has added new meaning to the relationship between China and Greece and has opened up new opportunities for the development of bilateral relations," said Greek Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis while addressing the symposium.
"I am confident Greece and China will continue furthering their bilateral relations, continue enhancing multilateralism, peace and development around the world," said Greek Ambassador to China George Iliopoulos online.
"Greeks and Chinese have benefited a great deal by cooperation, while respecting differences between us... More trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges are highly desirable," added Loukas Tsoukalis, president of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, one of the top think tanks in Greece.