Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Greek President Karolos Papoulias in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7, 2014. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias on Friday pledged here to further promote cooperation in various fields between their countries.
The two leaders are in Russia's Sochi for the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games slated to be held Friday evening.
Xi hailed the profound friendship between China and Greece, as well as Papoulias' personal contribution to boosting the ties.
China is willing to work with Greece to continue deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said.
China and Greece should expand their cooperation in such areas as trade, infrastructure construction, shipping, gas and oil exploitation, as well as maritime matters, Xi noted.
Particularly, the two sides are expected to do well in the project at Greece's Piraeus port co-managed by the Chinese side, so as to set an example for investment cooperation between the two countries, he said, while encouraging Beijing and Athens to enhance their people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation.
China wishes Greece, which holds the rotating European Union (EU) presidency in the first half of 2014, to continue playing its unique role in and make new contributions to the relations between China and Europe, said the Chinese leader, who called Greece one of China's most reliable friends and cooperative partners in the EU.
For his part, Papoulias lauded the potential and prospect of his country's cooperation with China, saying that promoting their comprehensive strategic partnership is important to Greece.
He welcomed China's efforts to utilize Piraeus port to promote bilateral cooperation in railway, shipbuilding and maritime matters and to tap the market potential of the Balkan region, South Europe and Europe at large.
Papoulias also looked forward to the establishment of Chinese culture centers in Greece, saying the Greek people are interested in the Chinese culture.
According to the Greek leader, both the EU and China are two major forces for safeguarding world peace, and Greece will continue to firmly support and promote the Europe-China ties.
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