Jointly charting a new blueprint for the development of China-Greece relations
Photo shows the Greece pavilion at the second CIIE. (Photo by Weng Qiyu from People’s Daily)
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Greek counterpart President Prokopis Pavlopoulos agreed on November 11 to contribute the wisdom of ancient Eastern and Western civilizations to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
China and Greece are good friends who respect and help each other. The two countries, both ancient civilizations, support dialogue and mutual learning among civilizations and oppose the fallacy of a clash of civilizations.
Ahead of his state visit to Greece, Xi published a signed article on Greek media, pointing out that great civilizations have much in common to offer each other, understand each other better, and always stand by each other.
Greece is strongly against the so-called “clash of civilizations” theory, Pavlopoulos said, because civilizations in the true sense do not clash with one another and clashes do not solve any problem.
It is both absurd and harmful if a country makes its national policy based on the theory of “clash of civilizations”.
The two presidents agreed during their meeting to consolidate political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation and promote dialogue among civilizations, so as to contribute the wisdom of ancient Eastern and Western civilizations to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Greece is one of the first EU countries to sign an intergovernmental cooperation document with China on the co-construction of the Belt and Road. The project of the Port of Piraeus serves as a flagship project in bilateral Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) collaboration.
Greece’s development strategy to build a regional hub of connectivity is highly compatible with the BRI. Currently, the two countries are committed to building the China-Europe land-sea express route into an important channel for goods transportation and connectivity between China and Europe.
At the second CIIE, Greek exhibitors introduce quality products from Greece to potential buyers. (Photo by Wang Xiaobo from People’s Daily)
Both China and Greece uphold the principles of openness and inclusiveness; the two peoples respect each other and enjoy close cultural and educational exchanges. Meanwhile, both sides believe that different civilizations should respect each other, exchange and learn from each other, and jointly propose and promote dialogue among civilizations.
The two sides will promote personnel exchanges and cooperation by hosting the year of culture and tourism in 2021 in each country. They will also support the cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.
Greece views China’s development objectively and rationally and regards cooperation with China as an important opportunity.
Greece became a full member of the cooperation mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) in April this year, expanding the “16+1 cooperation” to “17+1 cooperation” and injecting fresh blood into the mechanism. China is ready to work with Greece to promote the development of China-CEEC cooperation and China-EU relations as a whole.
Friends become closer when they visit each other more. China and Greece enjoy frequent high-level exchanges.
At the second CIIE, a Greek exhibitor introduces quality products from Greece to potential buyers. (Photo by Wang Xiaobo from People’s Daily)
In May 2019, Greek President visited China and attended the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations. Greek Prime Minister has attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China twice. In November 2019, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis led a delegation to participate in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE).
Xi’s visit this time is the first visit of a Chinese president to Greece in the past 11 years. Undoubtedly, it is of historical significance for the development of China-Greece relations.
The Chinese president hoped that China and Greece should set an example of friendship, mutual trust, mutual benefits and win-win results, an example that promotes China-Europe cooperation in an open and practical manner, an example of cultural exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and an example of coordination and cooperation in safeguarding multilateralism.
It is believed that leaders of the two countries will jointly chart a new blueprint for the development of China-Greece relations, and the wisdom of the two ancient civilizations will shine through the future.
A distant view of the Acropolis in Athens. (Photo by Han Bingchen from People’s Daily)
(Su Xiaohui is deputy director of Department of International and Strategic Studies at China Institute of International Studies.)