President of the Hellenic Republic emphasised the importance of dialogue between civilisations, including dialogue between East & West, in an interview, ahead of a five-day state visit to China where he is to attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations.

In this context, he pointed out that sound bilateral relations between Greece and China will also help strengthen China’s ties with the European Union.

“The East and the West, we have many more things that unite us than those that separate us,” Pavlopoulos said.

“We live in troubled and dangerous times, so we must defend above all the human being in such times. If we do not do this through dialogue between civilisations, there is no other way to do it,” he added, and said that “”global peace depends on the dialogue between civilisations.”

Pavlopoulos also referred to his earlier visit to China as an interior minister as part of a Greek delegation in 2008, which he said had laid the foundations for the very good Sino-Greek relations at present. These will become even better, closer and more productive in the future, he predicted.

Particularly impressive at that time, according to the president, was China’s progress in e-governance issues and their application in public administration: “I really admire the enormous progress made by China in the field of e-government, which is very important (not only) for the course and the relations between the state and the citizens, but also for the economy itself,” he said.

“Sino-Greek ties will further deepen,” he added, which will certainly facilitate China’s ties with the international community, especially with the European Union (EU).

“We have never considered Greece isolated from the surroundings in which we live. We always see Greece as a dynamic member of the international community and especially as one of the key partners of our big European family, the European Union,” Pavlopoulos said.
Therefore, stronger Sino-Greek relations will bring China closer to the EU and the world at large, he said.

Pavlopoulos also referred to his hopes for stronger cooperation within the framework of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), suggesting that the two countries further develop bilateral economic cooperation.

“We believe that we can work together despite the differences that may exist in the way we choose to make economic decisions,” he added.