The President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping arrived in Athens on Sunday afternoon, beginning his official, three-day visit to the Greek capital.
President Xi arrived in Greece just a few days after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met him in Shanghai, on the occasion of a trade exhibition.
Before his arrival, Xi gave an interview to Greece’s Kathimerini newspaper in which he outlined his vision for the future of Greco-Chinese relations.
Greece and China should take lessons from ”the deep wisdom of their ancient civilizations,” the Chinese leader noted in his interview, adding that ”It is our duty to upgrade our current cooperation in all sectors.”
China has a special interest in boosting its ties with Greece, as it views the country as its gateway to the massive market of the European Union.
The port of Piraeus, which is operated by China’s COSCO conglomerate, is at the forefront of the renewed Greek-Chinese cooperation.
Xi said that Piraeus forms ”the dragon’s head” of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation, and asked for the establishment of ”a new type of international relations based on respect, justice, and mutually beneficial cooperation.”
The newly-upgraded port of Piraeus is now emerging as the ”biggest port in the Mediterranean Sea,” the Chinese President noted.
President Xi is expected to meet with Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Greek Republic, on Monday before his meeting with Prime Minister Mitsotakis at the Maximos Mansion.