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Sino-Greek relations advancing with 'two wheels'

Sino-Greek relations advancing with 'two wheels'

Author: From:Xinhua Update:2022-01-05 11:13:58

  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras got a special gift from his Chinese hosts during his official visit to China in July: a two-wheeled bicycle.

  Explaining the symbolic value of the gift, Tsipras said that the bilateral relations are like a two-wheeled vehicle. "One wheel is economic cooperation and the other, cooperation in culture and education. We are the cyclists who will develop our two countries," said Tsipras.

  The Greek prime minister's remarks are confirmed by the current level and prospect of the Sino-Greek relations.

  China COSCO Shipping, ZTE and many other enterprises with Chinese background have been operating in Greece for many years, contributing to the local economy and the improvement of bilateral relations.

  China COSCO Shipping acquired a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) on Aug. 10, formally completing the transfer of a 51 percent equity holding in PPA and the custody of an additional 16 percent stake. This marked another big step for the two countries to make Greece an important support for Belt and Road Initiative and the bridgehead of Sino-Europe economic cooperation.

  The Piraeus project plays a leading role in the two countries' economic cooperation, but it is not the only successful story. The business income of ZTE Hellas, for example, has recorded an annual increase of more than 20 percent since 2012 and this year the increase is expected to reach 30 percent.

  Although having not fully recovered from the debt crisis, Greek economy has passed its most difficult phase and the investment environment is improving, according to analysts. Chinese companies are especially interested in the opportunities in the areas of infrastructure, energy, ship building and repairing, high technology and e-commerce. Some projects in these sectors are progressing smoothly, opening up a vast range of cooperation prospects.

  The other wheel turning simultaneously with the economic cooperation is the "wheel of culture". The peoples of the two ancient civilizations are listening attentively to each other through one cultural exchange event after another.

  One such event was the concert held on Sept. 28 at the Athens Concert Hall to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership.

  Greek spectators gave a standing ovation to the Chinese artists, in particular after the major surprise the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater Symphony Orchestra had planned for the finale.

  The concert ended with Greeks clapping hands to the rhythm of the "Children of Piraeus," a popular song written by late Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis for the film "Never on Sunday" starring Melina Mercouri.

  The song performed by Mercouri won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960.

  Greek music lovers, including Culture Minister Aristeidis Baltas, enjoyed the performance with Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli, who has announced there will be more such cultural bridges connecting the two countries and people.

  Traditional Chinese music instruments such as Erhu, Pipa and Bamboo Flute were used together with the Western music instruments such as violin, piano and drum by Chinese artists in the performance.

  "It was tremendously interesting how traditional Chinese music instruments were connected to Western music instruments. I think that this kind of exchange in the music field promises very interesting compositions in the future," the Greek minister said.

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