ATHENS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Greek scholars and political leaders have highlighted China's significant role in global development and extended best wishes to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Sotiris Petropoulos, a scholar on international political economy at the University of the Peloponnese in Greece, told Xinhua that the whole world is expecting to see how China will go forward in the coming decades.
China's development model, based on values such as collectivism, peaceful coexistence and non-interference, has been viewed as a potential alternative to mainstream Western countries' policies, said Petropoulos, adding that the Chinese way of dealing with global issues often features a more inclusive approach and invites the participation of all countries.
Countries on the Belt and Road have already felt the positive effects of the China-proposed initiative to revitalize the ancient trade routes spanning Asia, Africa and Europe, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is also winning applause, said Petropoulos.
The AIIB is a multilateral development bank initiated and supported by China to meet the infrastructure funding gap in the Asia-Pacific region.
Plamen Tonchev, head of the Asia unit at the Institute of International Economic Relations, a think tank based in Athens, said the 19th CPC National Congress, which opened Wednesday in Beijing, came at a time when China has become one of the key players on the global stage.
"Since 2013, China has been the driving engine behind the Belt and Road Initiative," he noted, describing it as an ambitious vision aimed at bringing vast areas of Eurasia and Africa closer together.
He also recalled that the Chinese currency formally became a global reserve currency last year, which marked another milestone for China.
China is marching toward the end of the second decade of the 21st century more confidently than ever, he said.
Panos Rigas, secretary of the central committee of the ruling SYRIZA party, said: "We should start seeing the growth of China as a chance to achieve worldwide economic stability and cooperation."
"We believe that this congress will renew the commitment of the CPC to building a future of prosperity and justice for China and the world. Personally and on behalf of the Central Committee of SYRIZA, I would like to express our best wishes for the work of the 19th National Congress of the CPC," Rigas said.
Vassiliki Souladaki, who is in charge of international relations affairs of PASOK, a major political party in Greece, said that given China's expanding economic ambitions and increasingly active role in global governance, the congress is "of paramount importance for the whole world."
Souladaki said China is having a transformative effect on Asia and the world.
"China contributes more troops to UN peacekeeping operations than any other permanent member of the (UN) Security Council," Souladaki added. "China ... will play a crucial role in the shaping of the world order."
Greek officials also hailed China's role in international affairs under the guidance of the CPC.
"China's role, of course under the guidance of the Communist Party, becomes more and more significant at the international level," Greek Interior Minister Panos Skourletis told Xinhua recently.
Speaking of China-Greece ties, State Minister Alekos Flambouraris said China contributes to Greece's development and he thinks this collaboration should continue.
Flambouraris also praised the CPC's leadership, saying the party "is in dialogue with the people and decisions are made democratically to the benefit of the Chinese people."
Kostis Hatzidakis, vice president of the main opposition New Democracy party, expressed confidence that Greece's friendship and cooperation with China will further blossom in coming years.
"We invest in this cooperation. As you know we are thirsty for investments in Greece and we expect this cooperation to be improved even more," he said.
Michalis Psilos, president of Greek national news agency AMNA, told Xinhua that the congress is particularly significant for Greece, because "it will define the new course of Sino-Greek relations."
"I believe that based on the decisions of your congress, undoubtedly these ties will be further enhanced," Psilos said.