Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcome ceremony for Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Zhang Ling)
BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday held talks with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is on a state visit to China and will attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing.
Xi spoke of the significance of Pavlopoulos's visit to promote exchanges and mutual learning of civilizations in Europe and Asia, as well as dialogue among civilizations in the world.
Xi underscored the inclusiveness of Chinese civilization since ancient times, noting the entry of ancient Greek civilization, ancient Roman civilization, Mediterranean civilization, as well as Buddhism, Islam and Christianity into the country through the ancient Silk Road.
There has never been any clash of civilizations or any religious war in China, Xi said, adding that the Chinese nation does not have a tradition of aggression.
The Chinese people, Xi said, have long upheld the devotion to the country, believing that the country always comes first, before the family. They are convinced there would be no individual and family happiness without a strong unified nation.
He said the Chinese people remain rock-firm determined to safeguarding the national unification and territorial integrity, as well as protecting the national interests and the state dignity.
China will firmly follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics despite all sorts of hardship and obstacles, Xi added.
Describing people of all countries as living in a global village destined to swim or sink together, Xi stressed the need to promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and win-win cooperation of various countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
Pavlopoulos said the "clash of civilizations" argument drummed up by certain people in the international arena was a huge mistake.
He said different civilizations should respect each other, enhance mutual learning through dialogue and exchanges and draw upon each other's strengths, which is the way to guarantee lasting peace of the world and harmonious co-existence of humanity.
Greece highly appreciates the Xi-proposed outlook on world civilizations, the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the concept of building a community with a shared future for humanity, Pavlopoulos said.
Greece also highly commends China on upholding multilateralism, honoring its words and keeping its promises in the international arena, Pavlopoulos added.