BEIJING, July 4, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd L) holds talks with visiting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (3rd R) in Beijing, capital of China, July 4, 2016. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
BEIJING, July 4 (Xinhua) -- China and Greece have great hopes for Piraeus port, as attested to by the meeting of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras on Monday.
Li met with Tsipras in Beijing on Monday afternoon, with much of their meeting focused on Piraeus.
Last week, by overwhelming majority the Greek parliament ratified an agreement giving China's COSCO Shipping a majority stake in Piraeus port authority. China expects Piraeus to become an important gateway into Europe.
According to a deal signed in April, COSCO will pay 368.5 million euros (419 million U.S. dollars) now and invest another 350 million euros (400 million dollars) over the next decade in infrastructure at the port.
Tsipras described Piraeus as a potentially important entry point for Chinese investment and goods into Europe.
Tsipras said logistics centers and industrial parks will be built and railways upgraded in central and Eastern Europe.
The prime minister said the project is an opportunity for China and Greece to cooperate in shipbuilding, finance, science and innovation, food, tourism, culture and education.
Li said China is ready for a second decade of the comprehensive strategic partnership with Greece, with sustainable and balanced trade growth and closer links in culture, education, science and tourism.
Li reaffirmed that China firmly believes in European integration and that a prosperous and stable European Union benefits all.
"We are looking forward to the upcoming China-EU leaders' meeting to send positive signals for consolidating strategic mutual trust, practical cooperation and promoting facilitation and liberalization of trade and investment," Li said, welcoming Greece's active role in China-Europe relations.
Earlier on Monday, China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang met with Tsipras.
Zhang, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said the NPC is ready to further enhance friendly ties with the Greek Parliament on legislation and governance, at all levels.