Interview: Former Greek president advocates inter-civilization dialogue amid unprincipled, boundless competition

by Maria Spiliopoulou, Chen Gang

ATHENS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Former Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos has advocated intensifying inter-civilization dialogue amid unprincipled boundless competition.

"We are living in an era in which, mainly due to the distorted use of certain aspects of technological development and economic globalization, we find ourselves, more and more often, in front of hybrids of war and peace, (and) their beginning and end elude us," said Pavlopoulos in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Therefore, we must shield international law with new dynamic regulations and with appropriate sanctioning mechanisms for the consolidation of peace, democracy and justice. Furthermore, we must intensify the dialogue of civilizations," said the former president.

Pavlopoulos was a member of Greek parliament from 1996 to 2014 and served as the interior minister from 2004 to 2009. He served as the seventh president of Greece from 2015 to 2020 and was elected as a member of the Academy of Athens in 2022.

"Greece seeks the significant improvement of overall China-European Union relations, and especially cultural and economic relations, under the condition of adherence to the entire international law," he said.

For Greece, he said, acting as an economic "gateway" of Asia to Europe, and primarily to the EU, is a natural consequence of its role and culture, as "Janus" looking from the West to the East, in pursuit of sincere dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Applauding the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, the former Greek president said that Greece and China share common ground in the future development of humanity.

The common position of Greece and China, based on their histories and their civilizations, must be that all organized societies must communicate and coexist peacefully and creatively with full respect for the entire international law and avoid any kind of expansive and conquering tactics, whether they concern the territory or the civilization, said Pavlopoulos.

Commenting on the Thucydides Trap and the assertion that a conflict between China and the United States is inevitable, he said, "Unfortunately, there is no lack of certain agents in the West, who seek to structure relations between states in the modern world by distorting even Thucydides."

They are the same ones who are defending the disastrous "Clash of Civilizations" under the terms of the so-called "Brzezinski doctrine" on the "Great Chessboard," he noted. They treat economic relations and transactions primarily as means of "aggressive" intervention with the sole aim of profit and demonstration of power.

"We must stand against the beliefs based on the so-called 'Brzezinski doctrine' about geostrategic players and geopolitical axes, given that these lead, inevitably, to states and peoples of two categories and, subsequently, to painful and long-term conflicts of all kinds," said Pavlopoulos.

"We, the Greeks, as genuine descendants of Thucydides, want history to be written based on the timeless lessons of our civilization. That is, based on honest and fruitful dialogue and not on the basis of unprincipled competition without boundaries," said the former president.

Copyright © 2013, Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries
Address: No. 2, Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100701 FAX:86-10-65962554