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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's State Visit to Greece and Attendance at the 11th BRICS Summit in Brazil
2019/11/07

On November 7, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang briefed the media on President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visit to Greece and attendance at the 11th BRICS Summit in Brazil, and answered questions from the journalists.

I. On State Visit to Greece

Qin Gang expressed, invited by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Greece from November 10 to 12. It is another important visit paid by the head of state of China to Europe, and also the first visit of a Chinese president to Greece in the past 11 years. Hence it carries the historical significance of inheriting the past and opening up the future for the development of China-Greece relations, and will inject new impetus into the development of China-European Union (EU) relations and the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. As both ancient civilizations, China and Greece share the tradition of a long-standing friendship. Our two countries are friends who respect and help each other. Both sides always understand, trust, and help each other as well as understand and support each other on issues concerning respective core interests and major concerns. China and Greece are true friends in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative and seeking win-win cooperation. Greece is among the first EU member states to sign intergovernmental cooperation documents with China on the Belt and Road Initiative. Greek Prime Minister has attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China twice. In conformity with the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results, both sides have carried out fruitful cooperation and seen constant increase in two-way trade and investment. The Piraeus port project has become a flagship project of the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative, making important contributions to boosting local economic and social development and playing an important role in promoting connectivity in various places in the world. As close friends, both the Chinese and Greek people uphold the concept of openness and inclusiveness. With mutual respect and amicable feelings towards each other, the two peoples have very close people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Both countries maintain that different civilizations should respect and learn from each other, as well as jointly advocate and push for dialogues among civilizations. Both countries are new friends of the "17+1 cooperation". In April this year, Greece became a full member of China-Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation. Greece's entry brings new opportunities for the development of the mechanism and is also conducive to the development of China-EU relations and China-EU connectivity.

Qin Gang expressed, Greece is participating in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) as a Guest of Honor Country. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis led a delegation for the CIIE. President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the leaders of both countries visited the Greek National Pavilion together. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, all circles in Greece eagerly expect President Xi Jinping's visit to Greece. During his visit, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis respectively to consolidate bilateral political mutual trust and traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation in areas including trade, investment and infrastructure, practice multilateralism and free trade and build an open world economy. The leaders of the two countries will also have cultural exchanges and interactions and jointly advocate dialogues among civilizations. Both sides will release a joint statement on further strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership, draw a blueprint of the development for bilateral relations and sign intergovernmental cooperation agreements in such areas as investment and education as well as commercial agreements in ports, finance and energy.

As ancient Chinese sayings go, "Even an established nation like Zhou still regards self-renewal as its mission. In the face of profound changes unseen in a century, China and Greece, as two ancient civilizations, both have the mission of realizing development and prosperity. As the cradle and inheritor of ancient civilizations in the East and the West, both China and Greece can offer wisdom and enlightenment for various problems and challenges facing today's world. President Xi Jinping's visit to Greece will show the long-standing Chinese civilization's respect and appreciation for the long-standing Greek civilization, and underline the importance China attaches to all countries including Greece regarding the joint building of a community with a shared future for mankind. We are confident that the visit will comprehensively elevate bilateral cooperation and exchanges, add fresh impetus to the development of China-EU relations and produce fruitful outcomes.

II. On the Attendance at the 11th BRICS Summit

Ma Zhaoxu said, the 11th BRICS Summit will be held in Brasília, capital of Brazil from November 13 to 14. Invited by Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, President Xi Jinping will attend the summit. At the scheduled time, President Xi Jinping will attend a series of activities including the closing ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, leaders' closed-door session and open meeting, and the dialogue between leaders of the BRICS countries and the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank, and deliver important speeches. The summit will release the leaders' declaration. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro and sign cooperation documents in various fields. President Xi Jinping will also hold bilateral meetings with other leaders of the participating countries and exchange views on bilateral relations, the BRICS cooperation and other topics.

Ma Zhaoxu said, the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges, more and more countries are shifting their attention to the BRICS, and expecting the BRICS countries to add new impetus to and inject positive energy into the international community. The Chinese side appreciates the efforts Brazil has made as the chair country for the preparations for the summit and is willing to work with the Brazilian side and all parties to jointly promote the summit to achieve fruitful results. The Chinese side looks forward to the summit's results in four aspects. First, deepening the partnership and maintaining the positive momentum of the BRICS cooperation. The Chinese side expects the BRICS countries to further enhance political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and build a more comprehensive, closer and broader partnership. Second, jointly safeguarding multilateralism, and improving and strengthening global governance. The Chinese side looks forward to working with other BRICS countries to continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism, safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system, safeguard the international order based on international law, safeguard the international system with the United Nations as the core, promote a more equal, open, transparent and inclusive global governance system, and safeguard the common interests and development space of emerging markets and developing countries. Third, adapting to the trend of the new industrial revolution and facilitating the economic transformation and upgrading of the five countries. The BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) was an important achievement in the Johannesburg Summit last year. Over the past year, the building of the PartNIR has made gratifying progress. The Chinese side looks forward to working with all parties to accelerate the building of the PartNIR, deeply tap into potential for cooperation in specific projects, and inject strong momentum into the five countries' high-quality development. Fourth, enriching the connotation of practical cooperation and consolidating the three-pillar-driven cooperation structure. The Chinese side looks forward to working with all parties to continue to push for the in-depth and solid development of cooperation in economy, trade, finance, political security and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and build more cooperation projects that meet the development needs of the five countries and conform to the interests of the five peoples, in a bid to elevate the BRICS cooperation. It is believed that with the joint efforts of all parties and under the leadership of the leaders of the five countries, the 11th BRICS Summit will surely be a complete success. The BRICS countries will certainly make greater contributions to promoting world peace and development and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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