Beijing, July 5, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
With the welcoming ceremony in front of the People’s Congress, in Tien An Men Square in Beijing, started the official visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in China.
In the presence of his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, were heard the national anthems of both countries. Then, Al. Tsipras and Li Keqiang inspected the honorary contingent of men and women of the Army, Navy and Air Force of China.
In honour of Alexis Tsipras there were 21 cannonades in Tien An Men Square, while the blue and white flag of Greece was waving in the People’s Congress Hall.
Then the two Prime Ministers had both a private and an enlarged conversation. The issued raised were the six greek investment proposals relating to China’s participation in the competitions for Thriassio Field and Kastelli airport, considering the Chinese shipbuilding activity in Greece, Chinese investments in the Greek banking sector, expansion of agricultural exports and food in China, research and innovation with the creation of a Research and Development center in Greece, investments in tourist properties, and the increase of Chinese tourism with direct flights from Beijing to Athens, as well as and cooperation in the Cultural and Education sectors.
According to government sources, the Chinese side appeared very positive and it was decided that a permanent Greek-Chinese monitoring committee would be created, relating to these issues, to examine the next steps in each area.
At the end of bilateral talks the two delegations signed nine agreements.
Agreements signed during the visit of the Greek PM to China
1) Executive program on tourism cooperation for the period 2016-2018 under the Agreement between the Government of the Hellenic Republic and the Government of P.R. China.
2) Cooperation agreement on scientific and technological innovation of Science and Technology of the P. R. China and the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affair.
3) Memorandum of Cooperation between the National Library of China and the National Library of Greece.
4) Memorandum of Cooperation between the State Administration of Culture Heritage of P.R. China and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic on underwater archeology cooperation.
5) Letter of intent between the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports and Capital Museum of China on the Exhibition “The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great”.
6) Cooperation between China Development Bank and Bank of Greece.
7) Cooperation Agreement on investment promotion by China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) and Enterprise Greece.
8) Memorandum of understanding between CCTV and Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT)
9) Letter of Determination of Confirmation Date between COSCO shipping and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund
Earlier, Mr Tsipras met with the President of the People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang.
During their meeting, the prime minister stressed that the Greece-China relationship is of strategic importance. “Our relationship with China is a bicycle. One wheel is economic cooperation and the other cooperation in culture and education”, Al. Tsipras emphasised, referring to the two countries’ relations, adding: “We are the cyclists who will develop our two countries”.
He noted that his visit coincides with the time that Greece is coming out of the crisis and is seeking a pole of stability, development and promotion of cultural values and humanity.
Greece’s relations with China are developed in a mutually beneficial basis. China has the strategic goal of the policy of “one zone, one-way”, Greece aims at growth in all areas. China has set as a strategic goal its revitalization and on its part the goal of Greece is its national renaissance by 2021, Tsipras stated.
For his part, the President of the People’s Congress said that China is the cradle of Oriental culture and Greece of Western, to add that in 44 years the two countries’ relations are progressing very dynamically.
He expressed his delight at the fact that Greece passed positively the assessment phase, and added that he would seek to a meeting of the presidents of the two parliamentary bodies, Greece and China.
Tsipras: Greece turns page
“The strong message that we send to international markets is that Greece is finally entering a new phase”, the Greek premier said, speaking to the forum of Greek and Chinese entrepreneurs in Beijing.
Greece turns page, he stressed and added that the agreement recently reached helps the country stand on its feet. “And the closure of the evaluation confirms that effort”.
With the new development law, he said, significant low risk investment opportunities are being created in Greece, and added: “We seek an investment shock of public and private investments to strike at disinvestment and tackle unemployment”.
He noted that the agreement with Cosco is mutually beneficial, adding that China are strategic partners rather than simply occasional traders.
“China can count on the Mediterranean soul, Greece”, the Greek PM said.
On his part, the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang stressed that relations between Greece and China are completely honest and stressed that Chinese companies eye the Greek investment market positively. “China will help Greece become stronger in a strong Europe”, he said.
Photos: Spiros Sideris – IBNA