A group of Greek ship owners gathered late on Monday at the Chinese embassy in Greece to commemorate victims of the devastating earthquake on May 12 last year that occurred in China's southwestern Sichuan Province.
Luo Linquan, China's ambassador to Greece, expressed gratitude to Greece's businessmen in the shipping sector for their donations to China's quake-hit zones that amounted to more than 200,000 U.S. dollars.
"We can never forget ... China and Greece, the two ancient countries, are so closely connected to each other with love and humanitarianism, that have transcended national and ethnic boundaries," Luo said.
Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had expressed sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the disaster-hit people after the quake, Luo said.
Karamanlis had said: "At this difficult moment the Greek people stand side by side with the Chinese people," Luo recalled.
Both China and Greece are quake-prone countries, John Tzoannos, secretary-general of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, said. He said that by helping each other, the two countries had cemented their time-honored friendship.
Tzoanno also spoke highly of the Chinese government's swift response and efficient organization of disaster relief after the massive quake.
The magnitude-8.0 quake, with the epicenter in Wenchuan, left more than 87,000 people dead or missing and more than 374,640 injured.