Chinese FM in Olympics birthplace, stresses connectivity, dialogue

ATHENS, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to work together with Europe to promote connectivity and dialogue among different civilizations, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Wednesday.

Wang made the remark at a joint press conference after a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.

"We see huge potential and a great outlook in promoting connectivity between China and Europe," Wang said, citing the Piraeus Port as an exemplary project demonstrating the reciprocal cooperation between the two countries.

The port, located 12 km southwest of Athens, is a flagship project in the bilateral Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) collaboration. With Chinese fund and management expertise, the Piraeus Port, once hard-hit by Greece's debt crisis, has become the largest port in the Mediterranean and created many local jobs.

"China is willing to further its maritime cooperation with Greece on the basis of international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, better align the BRI with European Union's global connectivity strategy, improve connectivity between Asia and Europe, and tap into the potential of further development in China and Europe in order to contribute to the global economic recovery," said Wang.

He called for concerted efforts to further dialogues between China and Europe, which represent the Eastern and Western civilizations respectively. "Facing a world full of uncertainties and instabilities, China and Europe should enhance dialogue and communication, promote understanding and mutual trust, dispel misunderstandings and doubts, and consolidate our political foundation based on the one-China principle."

Wang described China and Greece as "mutually beneficial partners" as well as "like-minded friends" and their bilateral cooperation as "exemplary" in demonstrating how countries with different cultural backgrounds and political systems can carry out exchanges and learn from each other.

The two countries have agreed to jointly establish research centers dedicated to the study of different civilizations, and promote a forum on ancient civilizations.

"We hope more European countries will join us to promote China-Europe ties and international cooperation, and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind," Wang said.

His visit to Athens came just a week after the Olympic flame of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games was handed over to Beijing at Panathenaic Stadium. "Beijing is ready," Wang said. "We are confident of hosting a simple, safe and splendid Winter Olympics."

He welcomed athletes from Greece and other countries to compete in Beijing and carry forward the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play, adding that "healthy and fair sport will help improve understanding among different countries."

Greece is the first stop of Wang's European tour, which will also take him to Serbia, Albania and Italy this week. Enditem

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