Beijing, July 7, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The official visit of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the People’s Republic of China on 2-6 July, 2016, which occurred following an invitation by the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Li Keqiang, was positive.
During the visit, the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic held meetings with the President of the People’s Republic of China Me. Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the President of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Mr. Zhang Dejiang.
This year, 2016, the dynamically developing comprehensive strategic partnership between Greece and China is further strengthened. Both sides confirmed the strategic cooperation between the two countries during the visit and stressed their intention to deepen and strengthen this cooperation to the mutual benefit of both States and the two peoples.
The two sides stressed that the honest and mutually beneficial cooperation, with mutual respect, is the solid foundation of their bilateral relations and reiterated their commitment to further develop their high-level contacts and intensify political consultations. They confirmed their willingness to deepen their strategic partnership based on mutual interest, with their traditionally good relations being the foundation for this.
The two sides expressed their commitment to the UN Charter and support for the peaceful settlement of disputes, with a view to safeguarding world peace, prosperity and development. The two sides expressed their intention to strengthen their cooperation within the United Nations and other international organizations, to effectively address global challenges and threats, especially terrorism.
Greece and China committed to maintaining maritime order on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the freedom of navigation and overflight guaranteed by it. It is in the interest of both countries to maintain such order and stability in the region. Both sides are in favor of peaceful settlement of territorial disputes and issues related to maritime rights and interests in accordance with international law, as well as regional and bilateral agreements. They welcome confidence-building measures to help defuse tensions.
Greece respects the “one China policy” and welcomes China’s progress in the economic and social sector and its contribution to peacekeeping missions of the United Nations. China recognizes the constructive role of Greece for stability, security and prosperity in Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean and the Balkans.
China appreciates the positive and constructive efforts and contribution of Greece to deal with the reception and accommodation of refugees in the country, particularly in the context of the long financial crisis.
The two sides support a just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
The two sides consider it necessary to intensify their bilateral cooperation in the economic and commercial fields, strengthening all efforts in order to balance the trade balance and encourage mutually beneficial investment activity. The Chinese side encourages enterprises to import more Greek products of high quality and standardization, particularly agricultural products, processed foods, wines, luxury goods and shipping goods. The two sides confirmed that the Joint Inter-ministerial Committee will meet regularly, alternately in Athens and Beijing, and it will plan and oversee progress in bilateral economic cooperation.
The platform linking Asia and Europe creates new, interesting prospects for both sides, under the joint development of the “One Belt one Road” program for Maritime and Land Transport, as well as the growth of ports and services, not only by upgrading regional infrastructure but also by contributing to the increase of international trade.
The ‘Year 2015 of Greece-China Maritime Cooperation” gave impetus to the already substantial cooperation in the fields of Shipping and Transport and confirms the dynamically evolving prospects for further expansion of maritime cooperation.
Both sides confirmed that COSCO’s investment in Piraeus port was successful and mutually beneficial. In this context, both sides are exploring a significant number of plans and projects aimed at improving infrastructure and transport, as well as the modernization of the rail network and the creation of transit services for safe and rapid transport of commercial goods to and from Europe. In this context, both sides should promote their bilateral cooperation, by creating synergies between companies, and to strengthen their cooperation in order to promote the Greek shipbuilding industry, thereby facilitating seaborne transportation of the contemporary Road One Belt One Road.
The two parties also agreed to steadily increase their cooperation in tourism, with the promotion of Greek culture in China, and to establish direct air links.
The two sides, cradles of two ancient cultures paramount to the history of mankind and civilization, expressed their willingness to explore new areas in their existing cultural cooperation in order to promote mutual understanding and contacts between the two peoples in a constructive and creative way.
The two sides agreed to intensify their cooperation in the field of protection of cultural heritage, archeology, scientific research and educational exchanges via the collaboration of Universities. Also, both parties agreed that there is significant potential for cooperation in film productions.
Both parties underlined the importance of promoting the Strategy for EU-China Cooperation in a balanced and consistent manner, in order to promote the EU-China relationship, thus strengthening, inter alia, political dialogue and the “Strategic Agenda for Cooperation EU-China 2020” in four areas: 1. Peace, 2. Development, 3. Reform, 4. Culture [China recognizes the unique role of Greece in promoting EU-China cooperation]. China reiterated its support of the process of European integration and praised the Greek government’s efforts to revive the Greek economy and tackle the debt crisis. In this context, the two countries will engage in exchanges, with mutual benefit, and China welcomes the participation of Greece, as an observer, in cooperation “16 + 1”.
Both sides expect a successful 11th ASEM Summit and pledged greater cooperation within the ASEM Cooperation Center for Science and Development.
The G20 Summit organized by China in Hangzhou in September 2016 is an opportunity to discuss the global challenges with a view to promote internationally acceptable solutions.
Greece expressed active support for the success of the Chinese Presidency of the Summit in Hangzhou. Greece hopes the summit will yield positive results, particularly in promoting growth through innovation, thus improving, inter alia, global economic and financial governance, giving impetus to international trade and investment, and promoting sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy.