BEIJING May 13 Chinese President Xi Jinping
offered the prime minister of deeply indebted Greece strong
support on Saturday, saying the two countries should expand
cooperation in infrastructure, energy and telecommunications.
Xi told Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece was an
important part in China's new Silk Road strategy.
"At present, China and Greece's traditional friendship and
cooperation continues to glow with new dynamism," China's
Foreign Ministry cited Xi as saying.
Cooperation in infrastructure, energy and telecommunications
should be "deep and solid", Xi added, without giving details.
Tsipras is in Beijing to attend a summit to promote Xi's
vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe
underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment
called the Belt and Road initiative.
Greek infrastructure development group Copelouzos has signed
a deal with China's Shenhua Group to cooperate in
green energy projects and the upgrade of power plants in Greece
and other countries, the Greek company said on
The deal will involve total investment of 3 billion euros
($3.28 billion), Copelouzos said in a statement, without
providing further details.
China has been investing heavily in Greece in recent years.
Its biggest shipping company, COSCO Shipping,
bought a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority last
year under a plan to turn Greece into a transhipment hub for
rapidly growing trade between Asia and Eastern Europe.
Xi said China and Greece should focus their efforts on
turning the Piraeus port into an important international
transhipment hub and key part of the new Silk Road, the Chinese
China State Grid also agreed last year to buy a
24 percent stake in power grid operator ADMIE for 320 million
Greek government borrowing costs hit their lowest level in
more than five years this week as the troubled euro zone state
looks close to clinching a deal with its creditors to release
new loans to it.
After six months of tense talks, Athens and its
international lenders - the European Union and International
Monetary Fund - reached a provisional deal last week on the
reforms needed to release new loans.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)