Greek President Karolos Papoulias (1st L, front) holds a welcoming ceremony in honor of Chinese President Hu Jintao (2nd L, front) in Athens, capital of Greece, Nov. 24, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said Tuesday he hoped China and Greece will strengthen exchanges in the cultural field.
China and Greece, both boasting splendid civilizations, have more reasons to join hands, not only in political and economic fields, but also in the cultural area, Hu said when bidding farewell to his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.
"I believe that the cultural exchanges will deepen the friendship between our two peoples and promote our comprehensive strategic partnership," Hu said.
Two Chinese universities have run Greek language courses and more and more Chinese young people have begun to learn Greek, said Hu.
Papoulias said it was "good news" that Chinese universities have set up Greek language courses and the Confucius Institutes in Greece will also offer good chances for the Greek people to know more about Chinese culture.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (2nd L, front) and his wife Liu Yongqing (1st L, front) visit the venue of the first modern Olympic Games accompanied by Greek President Karolos Papoulias (2nd R, front) and his wife in Athens, Greece, on Nov. 25, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
China's Great Wall and Athens' Acropolis are both witnesses of the two countries' long history, Papoulias said. The glorious civilizations created by Greek and Chinese people are still influencing the contemporary fields of learning such as philosophy, astronomy and architecture, he added.
Accompanied by Papoulias, Hu later visited the venue of the first modern Olympic Games on Tuesday.
Hu said one important gain of the 1.3 billion Chinese people after hosting the Beijing Olympic Games is that they savvy more about the Olympic spirit and the sportsmanship.
Noting that he was pleased Greece and China have successfully hosted the first two Olympiads in the new century, Papoulias said he hoped the two events can further promote the cultural and sport exchanges between the two countries.
Hu, who is on a state visit to Greece, held talks with Papoulias on Monday and both leaders agreed to lift the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height.
Greece is the last leg of President Hu's five-nation trip. Earlier, he had attended the G20 summit on financial markets and the world economy in Washington and paid state visits to Costa Rica, Cuba and Peru, where he also attended the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.