China’s President Xi Jinping, who is leading a large delegation of officials on his state visit to Greece, is due to sign sixteen agreements which Athens says will further boost and deepen bilateral relations between the two countries.
The agreements are on several sectors ranging from transport, investments and agri-food products, to crime prevention and culture.
“In Athens, as in Shanghai, we find that our relations are warmer than ever. Confidence is a given,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a joint statement with Xi before the press in Athens.
The Greek PM said that the two leaders had already enjoyed a productive discussion and he thanked China for supporting Greece during the years of its financial crisis.
Mitsotakis also announced that he will pay another visit to China in April of 2020, as this will strengthen the two countries’ relations even further.
The Greek Prime Minister stated “We are expanding our relationship with China now that Greece is once again taking on a lead role.”
“As you have seen in Shanghai, China is committed to an economic opening. I believe that our cooperation can lead to a combination of our capabilities,” the Chinese President responded.
Mitsotakis referred to the importance of the sixteen agreements which are to be signed during the visit, as well as the newly-regenerated port of Piraeus which is becoming a major transit hub. The ancient Greek port has been under the ownership of Chinese conglomerate Cosco for several years.
The Greek Prime Minister also welcomed the opening of Chinese banks in Greece, and stressed the importance of strengthening the flow of Chinese tourists to Greece.
Xi started off his official visit to Greece by the customary laying of a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square, where he was also joined by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
Later, Xi met Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the President of Hellenic Republic, with whom he noted that cooperation between Greece and China was a “cooperation of two great civilizations” and not just the cooperation between two countries.