Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that China’s vision to revive the Silk Road and Greece’s ambition to become a regional energy, transport, commercial and cultural hub will feed off each other to the benefit of both countries.
Speaking on his arrival in Beijing Friday to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Tsipras said both countries, as cradles of civilization, are linked by their long history, and their common vision for the future.
“Greece and China not only share a common, and glorious, past, but a common vision for the future,” said Tsipras, who is expected to sign a pact with the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China which will include agreements on energy, telecommunications, shipping and tourism.
To that end, Tsipras’s first line of business upon his arrival in Beijing was to meet with representatives of the State Grid company and discuss the prospects of Greece’s ADMIE grid operator, in which the Chinese energy giant has been a strategic investor since 2016.
Tsipras discussed a series of topics, including investment plans in renewable energy sources and energy networks for the Greek islands and, most importantly, the EuroAsia Interconnector – an underwater sea cable that will connect Crete and Cyprus with Israel, a project billed to have a drastic impact on the wider Eastern Mediterranean.
State Grid is reportedly exploring ways, through its stake in ADMIE, to expedite procedures for the cable’s completion.
Tsipras also inaugurated the new Center of Hellenic Studies at the University of Foreign Language in Beijing, where he was welcomed to the tune of “Zorba the Greek” blaring from speakers and greeted by students in Greek.
“Our hope is that with the promotion of modern Greek studies in China, Greece will continue to charm the studious Chinese people,” he said