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Doubled Greece-China trade by 2015, Li predicts

By  Li Xiaokun and Zhou Wa (China Daily)

08:23, May 17, 2013

Premier Li Keqiang meets visiting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Beijing on Thursday. The two leaders presided over the signing of a series of cooperation documents in sectors including investments, shipping and agriculture. Wu Zhiyi / China Daily

Athens expected to play 'unique role' in relations with EU

China and Greece inked a basket of deals and agreements in Beijing on Thursday, showing China's support for the recovery of the Greek economy.

Premier Li Keqiang told his visiting Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras that he expected to see the current bilateral trade volume double by 2015. Chinese official figures show two-way trade reaching $3.38 billion in 2012.

In their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, Li said China will not forget Greece lending a helping hand to the Chinese citizens urgently evacuated from Libya", according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

In February 2011, Greece helped China rescue 15,000 Chinese nationals from embattled Libya as two Greek ferries safely carried them to the Mediterranean island of Crete.

It was not the first time Greece assisted China in evacuating nationals from troubled areas. In 1997, when unrest erupted in Albania, a Greek warship carried Chinese nationals from Albania to neighboring Greece.

"China has all along viewed Greece as a trustworthy good friend and partner" and would like to "join hands with Greece to face challenges", Li said.

He suggested the two nations deepen cooperation in fields including new energy, shipping and tourism.

Li added that Beijing expects Athens, which is scheduled to take the rotating EU presidency in 2014, to continue playing a "unique role" in China-EU relations.

He especially noted the EU's ongoing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on China's mobile telecommunications equipment and solar panel products.

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