On October 24, local time, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Jia Qinglin met with Greek President Carolos Papoulias in Athens.
Jia first conveyed President Hu Jintao's cordial greetings and good wishes to Papoulias. He said that China-Greece friendship has a long history. With the support and care of generations of leaders of both sides, bilateral relations have enjoyed the current sound development. China and Greece supported each other's major concerns and joined hands in tiding over difficulties such as the international financial crisis, said Jia, adding that Greece had rendered help to China when the Chinese side evacuated its citizens out of the war-stricken Libya. The basis of bilateral friendship and mutual political trust has been strengthened, which is the prominent feature and growing source of impetus for the relationship between China and Greece. Jia also noted that both sides have made tremendous progress in cooperation on ocean shipping, economy, trade and culture in recent years and maintained sound communication and coordination in major international and regional issues.
Jia said that China has attached great importance to developing ties with Greece, and enhancing China-Greece ties conforms to the common interests of both sides. He said China is ready to maintain high-level visits and exchanges at various levels, continuously deepen mutual understanding and trust, enhance cooperation in all fields and closely coordinate with Greece in dealing with international affairs in a bid to better serve the two countries' respective development, bring more benefits to both peoples and make bigger contribution to China-EU relations, world's peace and development.
For his part, Papoulias thanked for President Hu's greetings. He said despite the distance keeping the two countries apart, both peoples hold profound feelings towards each other. The two countries share similar positions on international affairs and work together for world peace and friendship among people of all countries. He said Greece is glad to see China's incessant development in recent years and highly appreciates the historical contribution that the Communist Party of China has made for its country's independence, development and prosperity. Greece has treated China as an unwavering force for world's peace, the president said. Greece encourages and appreciates Chinese enterprises' investment and is ready to work with China to push forward the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.
On the same day, Jia Qinglin, accompanied by Greek Minister of Development, Competitiveness & Shipping Michalis Chryssochoides, visited the COSCO container terminal at the port of the Piraeus, listened to the introduction by the executives of COSCO and had cordial discussions with Chinese and foreign workers. Jia said the container terminal project at the port of the Piraeus is an important outcome of China-Greece maritime cooperation as well as a major breakthrough in bilateral investment cooperation, and it is of great significance to bilateral business cooperation. He encouraged the workers to seize the opportunity and work together to write a new chapter of China-Greece friendly cooperation.
Qian Yunlu, vice chairman and secretary-general of the CPPCC National Committee, Chinese Ambassador to Greece Du Qiwen and other officials attended the above activities.