Chinese premier eyes deeper ties with Greece

Updated: 2014-06-19 06:49


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ATHENS - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says he aims to open up new prospects for a deeper China-Greece relationship with his upcoming visit to the southern European country.

"My wish is to consolidate the traditional friendship between the Chinese and Greek people and open up new prospects for a deeper China-Greece relationship," Li wrote in a signed article for the Kathimerini newspaper.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 42 years ago, China and Greece "have respected, trusted and helped each other," said Li, who travels to Greece from Britain on Thursday for an official visit.

On economic cooperation, Li said the Chinese and Greek economies are complementary and enjoy huge potential for cooperation.

"China will encourage its well-established enterprises to play an active part" in Greece's privatization and infrastructure construction, he said.

Citing the success of bilateral collaboration on the Piraeus port, he said, "China wants more cooperation with Greece in airport, rail, road and other infrastructure development."

He called on the two sides to take the China-Greece Marine Cooperation Forum, which will take place in Athens during his visit, as an opportunity to expand cooperation in maritime transport, logistics and shipbuilding and initiate cooperation in marine science and environmental protection.

"Such cooperation will inject strong impetus into the two countries' economic and social development," said Li.

Regarding cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Li said that during his visit the two sides will sign an agreement on the establishment of cultural centers in each other's country to facilitate these exchanges.

Hailing Greece as an important member of the European Union (EU), Li said China is a staunch supporter of European integration and wishes to see a more united and prosperous Europe.

"As Greece holds the rotating presidency of the EU, China will work more closely with Greece to implement the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation and make a greater contribution to the sustained and healthy development of China-EU relations," he pledged.

As to China's reform and opening-up policy, Li said it will not only bolster China's own economic development but also bring more opportunities to Greece and other countries in the world.

"The Chinese economy now enjoys steady growth, with GDP and other major indicators within a reasonable range. We are confident about meeting the growth targets set for this year," said the Chinese leader.

"China will continue to follow the policy of building amicable partnerships with its neighbors and work with other countries to jointly safeguard stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region," said Li.

"China's development will be an important component of the peaceful development of the world," he stressed.

"A deeper comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Greece is bound to contribute more to the well-being of our two peoples and the prosperity and progress of the world," he concluded.