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Xi says friendship, righteousness more valuable than interests in country-to-country exchanges

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-11-12 21:00
Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meet in Athens, Greece, Nov 12, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

ATHENS - Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Tuesday that countries must value friendship and righteousness above shared interests in their exchanges.

The rose's in her hand, the flavor in mine, Xi said, quoting a proverb when meeting with former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Xi said he highly appreciates the efforts made by Tsipras in promoting China-Greece friendship and cooperation when Tsipras served as the Greek prime minister.

China has been firmly supporting the Greek government and people in coping with the impact of a financial crisis, and promoting practical cooperation between the two countries, Xi said.

He said he was delighted to see that the Greek economy has emerged from the plight and returned to growth, and China-Greece cooperation has yielded significant results, especially that fresh progress has been made in the Piraeus Port project, which has realized mutually beneficial and win-win results.

Xi said he believes that the joint construction of the Belt and Road between China and Greece will help the European country achieve the goal of building itself into a regional transport and logistics hub, and inject strong momentum into China-Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation, and that bilateral cooperation will enjoy even broader prospects.

Xi added that he hopes Tsipras and his party will continue to support the development of China-Greece relations.

For his part, Tsipras said that Greece was in a debt crisis during his term as the prime minister, and that China provided assistance to help his country emerge from the crisis.

A friend in need is a friend indeed, he said.

The Greek people will always remember the precious assistance from China and see the Chinese people as true friends, Tsipras said.

Greece highly appreciates the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by Xi and is delighted to see ever more positive results achieved in the Piraeus Port project undertaken by a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Company, he said.

Tsipras said he and his party are ready to strengthen inter-party exchanges with the Communist Party of China and continue to actively promote the development of Greece-China and Europe-China relations.

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