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China puts forward four-point proposal for furthering ties with Greece
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Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Greek President Karolos Papoulias at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, June 23, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward a four-point proposal to further develop Sino-Greek ties in his meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias here on Monday.

Pointing to the smooth development of bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 36 years ago, Hu said the Sino-Greek relationship was faced with a good opportunity for further development. China would work with Greece to expand cooperation mainly in four aspects.

Hu suggested the two countries keep frequent contacts between heads of state, have closer friendly exchanges between governments, legislatures, political parties and localities, and give support and understanding to issues of each other's concern.

He called to expand trade and economic cooperation, especially in investment, cooperation between medium and small companies and shipping.

Hu urged the two countries to increase cultural exchange and carry out more activities in this area. He vowed to help with holding the Year of Greek Culture in China, and welcomed Greeks to participate in the Beijing international books exhibition and a cultural activity as guest of honor. He also supported cooperation in language teaching and youth exchange.

He called on China and Greece to maintain communication and consultation on major issues, including United Nations (UN) reform, climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development. He urged the two countries to strengthen coordination and cooperation in international multilateral organizations such as the UN and World Trade Organization (WTO), so as to promote world peace, stability and development.

Papoulias praised China's special and active role in international and regional affairs and said Greece supported the further development of ties.

He said the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations laid a good foundation for furthering the relation.

"Greece will enhance the friendship and trust with China, expand cooperation in such areas as trade, ocean shipping, tourism, culture and education, and increase personnel exchanges in high-tech areas so as to bring more interest for the two peoples," Papoulias said.

The upcoming Beijing Olympic Games was also an important agenda of the talks between the leaders.

Speaking positively for the support of Greece to the Beijing Olympics, Hu said the Games was a grand affair for people across the world to enhance friendship and strengthen cooperation.

"The Chinese government and people will implement their commitment to the international community and make the Games a successful affair, and contribute to the development of the international Olympic movement."

Papoulias said Greece, as cradle of the Olympics, always advocated the Games should be a distinguished gathering to promote friendship and peace across the world. Greece opposed politicizing the Olympics, and hopes its spirit can last forever.

He said Greece was paying close attention and gave high appraisal to China's active preparation for the Games. He believed China would make it a success.

After the talks, the two countries also signed several agreements of cooperation on judicature, education and development.

Papoulias, who arrived in the capital Monday morning, was on a five-day state visit at the invitation of Hu. He was also visiting Shanghai and the eastern Jiangsu Province.

(Xinhua News Agency June 24,2008)

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