China pledges to enhance ties with Greece


Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias on the Rhodes Island in Greece, July 13, 2014. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that China would strengthen cooperation with Greece to further enhance bilateral ties.

Xi made the remarks during a stopover on the southeastern Greek island of Rhodes on his way to Latin America. He was received at the Diagoras International Airport by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

President Xi’s visit is, according to the Greek government, a confirmation of the good relationship between the two countries and China’s intention for stronger economic ties with Greece.

President Xi called the friendship between China and Greece profound, and that the two countries have always understood, supported and helped each other.

China’s Xinhua News Agency reported that China is willing to further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and increase cultural exchanges with Greece so as to infuse fresh vigor into the two ancient civilizations and bring benefits to the two peoples. Noting that the China-Greece relationship is developing in good shape and on a solid basis, Xi said China attaches great importance to developing its comprehensive strategic partnership with the European country.

His visit comes at a time when the Greek economy is recovering from a crippling economic crisis. President Xi said that China will continue to support Greece and push forward the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Within the past year, China and Greece have strengthened bilateral ties through several high level official visits to both countries. In June, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Greece included the signing of bilateral economic deals. And though largely symbolic, President Xi’s visit is another step forward towards more cooperation between China and Greece.

Xi will continue his flight to Latin America from Greece, where he is set to pay state visits to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. In Brazil, he will also attend the sixth BRICS Summit and the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit.