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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos of Greece
2019-05-14

On May 14, 2019, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos of Greece at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi Jinping welcomed President Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ state visit to China and attendance at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing. Greece is an ancient civilization in Europe, and your visit carries great significance for promoting exchanges and mutual learning of civilizations in Asia and Europe, as well as dialogue among civilizations in the world.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the Chinese nation adheres to inheritance and innovation. Running uninterrupted till now, the Chinese civilization has never been exclusive but kept evolving with inclusiveness. Ancient Greek civilization, ancient Roman civilization, Mediterranean civilization, as well as Buddhism, Islam and Christianity entered the country through the ancient Silk Road, integrating with the Chinese civilization and getting indigenized. There has never been any clash of civilizations or any religious war in China. And China does not have a tradition of aggression. More than 600 years ago, Zheng He led the largest fleet in the world back then on voyages to the western oceans, bringing silk, tea leaf, and porcelain instead of war, without taking a single inch of land along the way.

Xi Jinping stressed that the Chinese people have long upheld the devotion to the country, believing that the country always comes first, before the family. They are convinced there would be no individual and family happiness without a strong unified nation. The Chinese people share the same goal and remain rock-firm determined to safeguarding the national unification and territorial integrity, as well as protecting the national interests and the state dignity. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics China now follows is inseparable from the Chinese civilizations spanning five thousand years. It comes from all the hard work of the Chinese people through a tortuous journey. It is a combination of the basic tenets of Marxism and the realities in China and the feature of the times. It is the inevitable result of history and the choice of the people. The right path shall prevail, and China will firmly follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics despite all sorts of hardship and obstacles. As China grows stronger, China will make greater contributions to world peace and mankind’s progress. In today’s world, people of all countries live in a global village destined to swim or sink together. The joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and building a community with a shared future for mankind that I put forward aim to promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and win-win cooperation of various countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Greece are both ancient civilizations whose friendly exchanges go back a long way. The two countries share a natural affinity. Calling Greece China’s good friend and good partner in Europe the Chinese side hopes to work with the Greek side to enhance practical cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges to join hands in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations held by China is crucial in the exchanges and mutual learning of world civilizations. Greece feels honored to be invited. The "clash of civilizations" argument drummed up by certain people in the international arena is a huge mistake. In fact, there should not be, and will not be any clash among real civilizations. Different civilizations, despite the differences, should respect each other, enhance mutual learning through dialogue and exchanges and draw upon each other's strengths, which is the way to guarantee lasting peace of the world and harmonious co-existence of humanity. Greece and China share the same view in this regard. A country or a nation’s contributions to the world and mankind do not only lie in the substances it creates, but also lie in the concepts it puts forth. Greece highly appreciates the outlook on world civilizations, the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi Jinping. Greece also highly commends China on upholding multilateralism, honoring its words and keeping its promises in the international arena, which shows the wisdom of the ancient Chinese civilization and the historic responsibility of China as a responsible major country. I am glad to visit China on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Greek people admire the huge development achievements China has made. By upholding a people-centered philosophy of development, the Communist Party of China succeeded in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, which is a truly remarkable achievement. The progress China has made has benefited the Chinese people and the world as well. Greece is willing to grasp the historic opportunity of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative to deepen exchanges and cooperation with China and play an active role in boosting the development of Europe-China relations and the relations between Central and Eastern European Countries and China.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcome ceremony for Prokopis Pavlopoulos at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Peng Liyuan, Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Huang Kunming, Chen Zhu, Wang Yi, Li Bin, He Lifeng and others were present.

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