Greek officials, experts and representatives of the business world have hailed the outcome of the recent 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and expressed confidence about the prospects of Sino-Greek cooperation.
At a seminar held here on Thursday, Qu Qingshan, head of the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee, as the keynote speaker, made a thorough presentation about the congress and the most important messages included in President Xi Jinping’s report, before exchanging views with the audience on China’s vision for prosperity and peace, its international role and Sino-Greek ties.
Delivering opening remarks at the seminar, Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli said: “The 19th CPC National Congress is not only a significant landmark in the history of China’s development, but has an important impact on development worldwide.”
“Political parties and prominent figures from each country across the globe, including Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the ruling party SYRIZA, the main opposition New Democracy party, the Greek Communist party and so on, praised the 19th Congress for the new ideas and positions declared,” Zou said.
“I sincerely hope that China and Greece, hand in hand, will make further joint efforts to promote exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, to deepen friendship between the two peoples and advance bilateral ties in order to achieve sustainable development,” Qu told the audience.
Tassos Kourakis, deputy speaker of the Greek parliament, praised the strategic partnership between the two countries and underlined the significance Greece attaches to China’s roadmap to the future.
“The discussion on China’s course to the future opens new horizons of thinking and new roads in general regarding mankind’s course to the future,” the Greek official said.
Nektarios Bougdanis, coordinator in SYRIZA’s Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy, visited China this fall as a member of a party delegation for contact with CPC officials.
Speaking to Xinhua during the seminar, he stressed that Greece was eager to further strengthen ties with China and promote bilateral cooperation in all sectors, from economy and trade to culture, science, technology and tourism.
“It is a special relationship going back several centuries ago and it is not limited only to the current period. We certainly believe that in the future, thanks to the efforts made by our governments as well as our parties, SYRIZA and CPC, our cooperation will deepen and will be more beneficial to both sides,” Bougdanis said.
Tassos Vamvakidis, commercial manager of Piraeus Container Terminal S.A (PCT), China COSCO Shipping’s subsidiary at Piraeus which has been operating a part of Greece’s largest port in recent years, has firsthand experience of the great benefits Sino-Greek cooperation brings to both countries.
“Greece, and especially Piraeus, is a dot in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and specifically in the maritime Silk Road connecting Asia with Europe. Our company, Piraeus Container Terminal of Cosco Shipping, plays a vital role in the last eight years, and now with Piraeus Port Authority, to promote China’s investment in Greece in order to have a harmonious and win-win situation for both countries,” he told Xinhua.
“I have a lot of expectations for the forthcoming future of our relationship,” he added.
George Tzogopoulos, a lecturer on international relations at Democritus University of Thrace in northern Greece, also attended the seminar.
“It is important that China is setting goals and is implementing them and this can be also a model for other countries. And within this framework also the new normal is a target which is in the process of being achieved and it is attracting the interest of the West on how China is changing its growth model,” he told Xinhua.
“At the same time, domestic problems such as the fight against corruption, the will of the Chinese government to better respect and protect the environment and also the will of President Xi Jinping to bring prosperity are at the epicenter of attention and today’s presentation highlighted that China is well implementing and achieving these goals,” he added.