Premier Li Keqiang spoke on the telephone to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Feb 11, and was assured that the new Greek government will not change the nature of existing bilateral programs including a major port project.
“China values its traditional friendship and consistently expanding pragmatic cooperation with Greece” as equal partners seeking mutual benefit, and will “take the relationship to a higher ground”, Li said.
Tsipras said the Greek government places great priority in developing the relationship with China, and welcomes expanding investment from China.
Li noted the bright prospects of bilateral ties as well as the fruits of cooperation that benefit both countries and their people.
He observed that the Greek prime minister reiterated that China’s expanding investment in Greece is welcome, and hoped that the Greek government will provide better legal protection for the operation of Chinese enterprises in the country.
The Chinese premier stressed that the COSCO project at Piraeus Port has become a good example of cooperation between China and Greece.
The project has not only created local employment, but also better ensured and improved the rights, interests and working conditions of workers, Li said. “Hopefully the two sides will honor their commitments,” he added.
China is ready to energetically cooperate with Greece and develop Piraeus as a first-class port in the Mediterranean and an important hub for the region, to serve as an important bridge for realizing the China-Europe land-sea express passage and boosting Eurasia connectivity, Li said.
It is believed that this will also be beneficial to the integration process and balanced development of the Europe, Li added.
Tsipras said Greece is undergoing a critical stage of reviving and developing its economy, and needs assistance and help from China.
Greece is ready to expand its cooperation with China in areas such as maritime affairs and shipping, and embark on cooperative projects such as infrastructure construction and finance, he said.