Greece

Note: This column mainly includes countries along the Belt and Road and countries that have signed cooperation agreements with China on Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2013, bilateral relations between the People's Republic of China and the Hellenic Republic maintained good momentum of growth. Their comprehensive strategic partnership continued to deepen and friendly cooperation in various fields further increased.

The two sides maintained momentum of high-level exchanges and increased political mutual trust. From 15 to 19 May, Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras paid an official visit to China and attended the second annual Conference of the World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China). During the visit, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang and CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng held meetings or talks with him. The two heads of government jointly witnessed the signing of 11 bilateral cooperation agreements and business contracts and agreed to establish a mechanism of communication between the two countries to coordinate practical cooperation in various fields. The two governments issued a joint declaration on deepening practical cooperation and promoting common development.

Exchanges at all levels became closer. In April, Vice Administrator Tian Jin of the Administration of Radio, Film and Television led a delegation to visit Greece. In October, Vice Minister of Culture and Administrator of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage Li Xiaojie visited Greece. In October, Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese Qiao Wei visited Greece. In February, Minister of Rural Development and Food of Greece Athanasio Tsaftaris attended the Roundtable Conference on Agriculture Cooperation Between China and Six Southern European Countries held in Rome.

Inter-party interactions were active. In June, Executive Vice Minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee Luo Shugang led a goodwill delegation of the CPC to Greece and attended the ninth New Democracy Congress. In September, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Committee of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Han Yong led a goodwill delegation of the CPC to Greece. In April, General Secretary of the New Democracy Manolis Kefaloyiannis came to China for the fourth China-Europe High-level Political Parties Forum. In July, General Secretary of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement Nikos Androulakis led a delegation of young center-left politicians of some European countries to visit China.

Cooperation on sea transportation was strong. The logistics deal of the Piraeus Container Terminal of the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, the US company Hewlett Packard and the Greek rail transport company TRAINOSE was launched. With the first phase of pier No.3 starting operation, turnover of the Piraeus Container Terminal hit record high. Cooperation made fresh headway in medicine and new energy. The Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical CO., LTD and the Greek company SELLAS signed a cooperation agreement worth €400 million. SUMEC, a company of Jiangsu Province, China and the city of Athens signed a memorandum of understanding of cooperation valued at nearly €1.5 billion.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation further deepened. In November, the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe staged a performance titled "My Dream" at the Athens Concert Hall which was warmly received. In December, an art troupe sent by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council gave a special performance in Athens.

Military-to-military exchanges were close. In September, Admiral Liu Xiaojiang, Political Commissar of the Chinese Navy, visited Greece. In October, Rear Admiral Athanasios Makris, Head of the Department of Strategy and Politics of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, visited China. In November, Vice Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff, visited China.

Friendly exchanges at the local level continued to grow. By the end of 2013, there had been 14 pairs of sister provinces/cities.

Editor: Dong Ping
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