|Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece Visit the Piraeus Port of China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO)|
On November 11, 2019 local time, President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, accompanied by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece and his wife, visited the Piraeus Port, a project of China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO).
Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan were warmly welcomed when they arrived at the Piraeus Port by Chinese and foreign employees waving the national flags of both China and Greece.
Leaders of the two countries and their wives listened to the introduction of the operation and development planning of the port, after which they went to the platform of the top floor for a bird-view of the port. What came into their view was a busy port featuring hustle and bustle, with everything going on in an orderly fashion. Large cargo ships docked at the port and containers were lined up. Against the backdrop of towering bridges, the fully loaded China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line was to embark on its journey.
Xi Jinping talked to representatives of local staff members and asked about their work and life. The local staff members all expressed their gratitude to COSCO for offering them jobs at the toughest time during the Greek debt crisis. Now they have stable jobs and a happy life. With the Piraeus Port becoming an important fruit in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the local staff said they feel very proud and have full confidence in the port's future.
Xi Jinping said, I am delighted to visit the Piraeus Port. Seeing is believing. I have seen on the port today that the China-proposed BRI is not a slogan or tale, but a successful practice and brilliant reality. The BRI upholds the principle of extensive consultation, joint development and shared benefits. Dominance by a single party is not allowed in the BRI. Instead, all participants would share responsibilities and benefits in BRI cooperation. China, in its external exchanges, upholds the right approach to justice and interests. I am delighted to know that COSCO's Piraeus Port project could help local people through hard times. You are important participants in and contributors to jointly building the BRI as you have helped the Piraeus Port develop well, and I wish you success at work and a happy life.
Xi Jinping pointed out, the Piraeus Port project is a successful example of China-Greece cooperation featuring complementing each other's advantages, combining forces, and achieving mutual benefits. It is hoped that the two sides could make continued efforts to further construct and develop the port, achieve the goal of making the port a regional logistics distribution center, and advance the building of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line. I am confident in the unlimited prospects of the Piraeus Port, and believe that the fruits of the cooperation will continue to benefit the people of both countries and the region. I wish China-Greece cooperation constant and new achievements.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed, China helped the Greek people when Greece was embroiled in the debt crisis. Facts have proved that the Piraeus Port project is mutually beneficial, and has strongly boosted the recovery of the Greek economy and social development, served the interests of Greece and its people, and has received the support from the Greek people. From that, the Greek side has come to a deep understanding of the true meaning of friends. The Greek side is willing to join efforts with the Chinese side to further expand and strengthen the Piraeus Port project and make it a paragon in the joint construction of the BRI.
Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others were present.
The Piraeus Port, about 10 km southwest of Athens, stands as the largest port in Greece. In 2016, COSCO won the bid for the privatization project of the Piraeus Port Authority, officially becoming the majority shareholder of the Port Authority and taking over its operation and management. So far, the project has created jobs for over 10,000 local people directly and indirectly. The port has now become the largest port in the Mediterranean region and one of the fastest-growing container terminals in the world.