Wang Yi Talks about the Three Clear Messages Sent to Greece and Europe
2021/10/28

On October 27, 2021 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias jointly met the press after their talks in Athens.

Wang Yi said, China and Greece are not only partners that benefit each other for win-win outcomes but also in particular, friends that share the same aspirations. China-Greece cooperation has been always in the front rank of China-Europe relations, setting an example for exchanges between and mutual learning from countries of different cultural backgrounds and social systems. During my present visit to Greece and other three European countries, I wish to send three clear messages to my friends in Greece and Europe at large:

First, China hopes to work with Europe to carry forward the Olympic spirit. Just days ago, the flame of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games was successfully ignited in Greece and arrived in China. I'd like to tell you that Beijing is ready and we are confident to offer the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic Games. The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece, were revived in modern Europe. We welcome athletes from Greece and other European countries to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, so as to promote the Olympic spirit which requires "mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play", and make the world a better place for humanity featuring "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together". The politicization of sports distorts the purpose of the Olympics, and it should be resisted by us all. Healthy and fair sports can enhance mutual understanding among different countries.

Second, China hopes to work with Europe to boost connectivity. As a flagship project of Belt and Road cooperation between China and Greece, the Port of Piraeus in Greece has created a large number of jobs and income for the locals, and grown to be the largest port in the Mediterranean Sea. The Port is a fine example for mutually beneficial China-Greece cooperation, and it is also the starting point of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line and set to become the hub of the third China-Europe trade route. The success of the Port of Piraeus fully demonstrates that China-Europe connectivity has enormous potential for cooperation and bright prospects for development. China is willing to further deepen maritime cooperation with Greece, a maritime power, on the basis of abiding by international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We are willing to deepen the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with "A Globally Connected Europe" strategy of the European Union (EU), enhance the level of Asia-EU connectivity, stimulate the growth potential of both China and Europe, and fuel the global economic recovery.

Third, China hopes to work with Europe to promote dialogue among civilizations. China and Greece are both ancient civilizations, and the wisdom acquired over the past thousands of years serves as an important foundation for the stability and progress of bilateral relations. The exchange of civilizations between China and Europe dates back to more than 2,000 years ago, and what we have accumulated over time is our greatest asset. Different civilizations should respect and appreciate each other, so that they can each respect their own culture first and then work for the prosperity of human civilization. In today's world full of uncertain and unstable factors, China and Europe, as representatives of Eastern and Western civilizations, should strengthen dialogue and communication, promote understanding and mutual trust, eliminate misunderstandings and doubts, and consolidate the political foundation based on the one-China principle. China and Greece have agreed to co-build the Research Center for the Mutual Appreciation of Civilizations and advance cooperation in the sphere of the "Ancient Civilizations Forum". We hope that more European partners will join us in injecting stability and positive energy into China-Europe relations and international cooperation and making our due contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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