Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (L) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi exchange documents during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State House in Beijing, China, 27 August 2018. EPA, HOW HWEE YOUNG
The Greek and Chinese Foreign Ministers signed a memorandum of collaboration in the framework of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative in Beijing on Monday.
At a press conference following their meeting, visiting Minister Nikos Kotzias and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi affirmed the close ties between the two countries and pledged to expand their cooperation.
In an official statement by the Ministry, Kotzias told the press that “our main goal is to deepen our political cooperation,” and in that regard he said he had extended an invitation to Wang Yi to visit Athens.
The two ministers agreed to further talks on finalizing the next five-year action plan in economic cooperation between the two countries.
According to official sources, Wang Yi called Greece a “natural partner of China”, given Greece’s geographic location, comparative advantages and long-term relations of friendship and respect between the two.
Particular areas of cooperation the two ministers discussed included the linking of infrastructure, unimpeded promotion of trade, financial cooperation and collaboration between the peoples of the two countries in multiple sectors including tourism, science and technology, education and culture, sports, youth and local government.
Earlier, Kotzias met with top-level officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). On Tuesday he is scheduled to meet separately with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and CCP official Yang Jiechi. He will also visit the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the largest think-tank in Asia, where he will deliver a speech on Greek-Chinese relations and the way forward.
On Tuesday evening he will fly to Shanghai for further meetings and depart for Vienna, where he will attend the informal EU Foreign Ministers meeting (Gymnich) on August 30 and 31.