EYEAFRICA TV: Athens, Greece: A senior Greek official in charge of people-to-people exchanges with China said he feels proud after reading Xi’s signed article titled “Let Wisdom of Ancient Civilizations Shine Through the Future”.
The article was published on Sunday on Greek newspaper Kathimerini (The Daily).
Andreas Potamianos, president of the Greece-China Association, made the remarks with China Central Television (CCTV) on Sunday, the day when Xi kicked off his three-day state visit to consolidate traditional friendship and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
In his article, Xi said great civilizations have much in common to offer each other. He mentioned the two countries’ ancient sophists, including Nikos Kazantzakis, a giant of modern Greek literature who had visited China twice, to illustrate the two ancient civilizations shone brightly in Asia and Europe and flourished together.
“I was surprised how the president was so well informed and we see not only well informed but from what I saw he also studied the Greek philosophers, like Aristotle and others, because he mentions them. So in order to mention them, it means that he agrees [with them] and has studied them. That makes us very proud, what he mentioned, and also that he knew about our association and the efforts,” he said.
According to the official, China was pretty unfamiliar to the Western countries when the Greece-China Association was founded in 1956. But now, a growing number of young people in Europe have shown great interest in learning the Chinese language, which coincided with Xi’s article that mentioned the importance of cultural exchanges.
“As I told you, we understood that in order to [get] closer to China, we have to [make more] Greek people to learn Chinese,” the official said.
As his office faces the flagship project of the Piraeus Port, he said he has seen great changes that have taken place at the port thanks to practical cooperation between the two countries, adding that he wishes Xi’s state visit will inject more vitality into his country’s shipping and tourism industries.
“[It’s] very important that the president is coming to Greece. I think it’s a very big event, and shows the interest in which China shows to Greece. And they all hope that economically that will help a lot of countries,” he said.