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Chinese ambassador thanks Greece for Libya evacuation, eyes potential in Mediterranean

China’s ambassador to Greece has proposed that the two countries cooperate across the Mediterranean region and in developing trade with Africa. In a comment thanking Greece for the Greek frigate Salamis’s evacuation of 79 Chinese nationals from Libya last week, Ambassador Zou Xiaoli noted the long friendship between the two countries and the potential benefits of closer cooperation.

“Greece extended a helping hand in evacuating Chinese nationals from Albania, Lebanon and Libya in 1997, 2006 and 2011, respectively. The fourth evacuation on August 2, 2014, once again added a significant page in the history of China-Greece friendship,” Zou wrote in Tuesday’s Kathimerini. “China feels proud and lucky to have such a good friend as Greece.”

Noting that China’s major investment in Greece – Cosco’s container terminal in Piraeus – is “the fastest growing one in the world,” the ambassador stressed his country’s long cooperation with Greek shipowners.

“Greece is not only a gateway for the flow of capital, commodities, and people between China and Europe; with joint efforts, China and Greece will be able to extend their cooperation to the whole Mediterranean region and the African continent,” Zou wrote. “Greece enjoys geographical advantages and good relationship with many African countries. China has been Africa’s largest trade partner for the last five consecutive years, with the bilateral trade volume over $200 billion in 2013. China has also been investing and constructing important projects in the fields of transport, communications and energy in Africa, injecting vitality into Africa’s efforts to achieve self-sustainable development. As common friends and partners of Africa, China and Greece can jointly play an important role in promoting stability and prosperity in Africa, a tremendous market with the greatest potential in the world.”

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