Two of the world’s most ancient civilizations, China and Greece, are tied by recent acts of goodwill and employ every occasion to further strengthen their good relationship and cooperation. This time, on the occasion of the Chinese Lunar Year, the New Year for the Chinese civilization, festivities in Greece celebrating this event are already underway.
An event recently organized by the Confucius Institute in Athens, was attended by representatives of major Chinese companies and the Greek Ministry of Education, as well as the new Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Greece.
Greeks celebrated along with the Chinese the coming of the “Year of the Horse.” During the celebrations, Chinese music was heard all over the place, while the Chinese fighting moves displayed would intimidate even ancient Greek armies.
“As a new Chinese Ambassador to Greece, I feel a true responsibility to promote further exchange between our two people and more cooperation between the two countries. I’m sure that through common effort our bilateral relations will have further progress in the New Year,” said Zou Xiaoli, Chinese Ambassador to Greece.
The good relationship between the two countries runs deep, as in 2011 Greece helped with the evacuation of 15,000 Chinese nationals from the conflict zone in Libya.
For Greece, the Year of the Horse could also become the “Year of the Yuan.” China’s top leaders say they hope to double trade between Greece and China by 2015. A large part of that investment is being made by China Ocean Shipping Company, better known as COSCO, which is expanding its multi-billion Euro container operations at Greece’s largest port in Piraeus.
“In Greece we have an ideal economic environment. There may be still recession, but we believe it will recover soon,” said Zhang Anming, Deputy General Manager of Piraeus Container Terminal.
As the celebrations suggest, Greece not only hopes that Chinese predictions will come true, but that Chinese investment will help to make them true.