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China says double-checking Greek port sale halt

(Xinhua)    20:37, January 28, 2015

BEIJING, Jan. 28 -- China is seeking confirmation of Greece's new government halted the privatization of Piraeus port, Greece's biggest port on Tuesday.

"We have noticed the reports, and are checking with Greece about the issue," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily press briefing on Wednesday.

Piraeus port has been run by a subsidiary of Chinese shipping conglomerate COSCO following the financial crisis in 2008.

Commercial traffic through the port has increased eight-fold since COSCO's takeover, attracting international giants such as ZTE and Hewlett-Packard to use the cargo terminals as logistics centers for their products.

"The project of the Piraeus port has become a paradigm of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Greece since COSCO gained the management lease for Pier II and Pier III of the port in 2008," said Hua.

She said China believes the two countries are willing to continue to promote substantial cooperation so as to benefit both.

China and Greece celebrated the beginning of expansion construction for Pier III of the Piraeus Port, with then Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras attending the ceremony and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sending a congratulatory message.

On Monday, the country's left-wing SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Greece's new prime minister after winning Sunday's national elections.

One of the first decisions announced by the new government was stopping the planned sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, said Reuters, quoting a senior Greek official as saying the SYRIZA government would review the COSCO deal to the benefit of the Greek people.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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