On the evening of November 10 local time, President Xi Jinping arrived at Athens International Airport by special plane to begin his state visit to the Hellenic Republic.
Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan stepped out of the hatch of the special plane. Senior government officials, including Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, greeted Xi warmly at the side of the ramp. Soldiers line up on both sides of the red carpet, salute with eyes.
On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Xi Jinping extended sincere greetings and best wishes to the Greek government and people. Xi Jinping pointed out that Greece has a long history and splendid culture and has made outstanding contributions to the progress of human civilization. China and Greece have a long history of friendly exchanges. As ancient civilizations, both China and Greece support exchanges and dialogue among civilizations and promote the harmonious coexistence of different civilizations. In recent years, China-Greece relations have maintained a high level of development, with close high-level exchanges and deepening political mutual trust. China-Greece cooperation in building the Belt and Road, marked by the Piraeus Port project, has yielded fruitful results, maintained close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, and contributed to world peace, stability, development and prosperity.
Xi Jinping pointed out that both China and Greece are at a critical stage of their respective development, and deepening bilateral relations and expanding practical cooperation are in the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples. I look forward to having an in-depth exchange of views with President Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Mitsotakis and other Greek leaders on the development of China-Greece relations under the new situation, jointly drawing up a blueprint for the future development of bilateral cooperation, and jointly pushing forward a new chapter in the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Greece.
Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng, and other accompanying personnel arrived on the same plane.
Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zhang Qiyue also met at the airport.
After concluding his state visit to Greece, Xi will also attend the 11th BRICS Summit in Brazil.
On November 11 local time, Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Greek President Pavlopoulos in Athens. The two heads of state agreed to consolidate political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, promote dialogue among civilizations and contribute the wisdom of the ancient civilizations of the East and the West to the building of a community of shared future for mankind.
Xi Jinping stressed: I have come to Greece with respect for civilization and expectations for the future. Every time you and I talk, every time the exchange between China and Greece, can have the sympathetic resonance that " If you drink with a bosom friend, a thousand cups are too few”. This is because China and Greece, as two ancient civilizations, share the same or similar ideas, and both have undergone arduous struggles to realize national modernization. Exchange and mutual learning are essential requirements for the development of civilization. The friendship between China and Greece is not only a cooperation between the two countries, but also a dialogue between the two civilizations. Today, the world is experiencing great changes that have not occurred in a century. I hope that the two countries will make joint efforts to deepen cooperation so as to promote inclusive exchanges of civilizations across time and space, advocate a fairer and more reasonable international order, and bring new light to the ancient civilizations of China and Greece in the new era.
First, we should set an example of friendship, mutual trust, mutual benefit and win-win progress. Maintain close contacts at all levels, deepen political mutual trust, and continue to give firm support to each other on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns. We will work together to build the Belt and Road Initiative and turn the China-EU land and sea express line into an important channel for the transportation and connectivity of goods between China and the EU. We should strengthen exchanges in the fields of culture and the Olympic Games and facilitate personnel exchanges.
Second, we should set an example of opening up and promoting China-EU cooperation in a pragmatic manner. China is ready to work with Greece to promote cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries and the overall development of China-EU relations.
Third, we should set an example of cultural exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations. Humanity should uphold and pursue noble sentiments, rather than pursue egoism and naked interests. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have believed in the concepts of "do not do to others what you do not want", "All the world is for the public" and "harmony among nations". China will never seek hegemony when it is strong, nor will it agree with the zero-sum game that you win when you lose, because the Chinese people have never had such a cultural gene or such an ambition. China's development has always been an increase in the strength of world peace. China and Greece both support exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and oppose the fallacy of clash of civilizations. The two sides should continue to give full play to their respective cultural strengths and jointly forge a path of harmonious coexistence among different civilizations and peoples, so as to provide more beneficial enlightenment for world peace and human progress.
Fourth, we should set an example of coordination and cooperation in upholding multilateralism. We will strengthen coordination on major international and regional issues, work closely with the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks, work to build an open world economy, and work together to build a community of shared future for mankind.
Pavlopoulos said that the Greek people have a natural affinity for China, because both Greece and China are ancient civilizations. Greece is heartily pleased with the remarkable achievements made by the People's Republic of China in the 70 years since its founding. Both Greece and China stand for seeking common ground while reserving differences, learning from each other's strong points and complementing each other's weaknesses, exchanges and dialogue, and peaceful coexistence. Greece resolutely opposes the so-called "clash of civilizations", because real civilizations do not clash and conflicts do not solve problems. It would be absurd and harmful for a country to use the theory of "clash of civilizations" to formulate its national policies. Whether it is China's historical and cultural traditions, or the fact that China is increasingly open, progressive and developing today, China has vigorously countered the "clash of civilizations" and the "hegemony of a strong country". In today's uncertain world, China stands for peace, harmony and balance, providing a very useful reference and solution to various global problems. Greece will continue to firmly support China in safeguarding its core interests, eagerly look forward to strengthening cooperation with China in the economic, trade, cultural and other fields, and actively work together with China to build the Belt and Road, and believes that President Xi Jinping's visit will push Greece-China relations into a new era and to a new height. Greece is willing to continue to work with China to promote the development of EU-China relations, promote Central and Eastern Europe-China cooperation, and jointly contribute to the promotion of international equity, justice and progress in human development.
Prior to the talks, Pavlopoulos held a grand welcoming ceremony for Xi Jinping.
When Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan arrived, they were warmly welcomed by Pavlopoulos and his wife Vlassia.
The ceremonial soldiers were lined up in their traditional attire.Mr. Xi, accompanied by Mr. Pavlopoulos, reviewed a guard of honour as the military band played the national anthem of China and Greece.The two heads of state and their wives shook hands with each other's escorts.
On the same day, Xi Jinping laid a wreath at the monument to the Unknown Soldier of Greece.
Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng, and others attended the above-mentioned activities.