After Tsipras Visit, Beijing Moves Closer to Athens With Deals

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech on Plenary Session of High-Level Dialogue, at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Sunday, May 14, 2017. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ visit to China has resulted in a series of deals and plans for closer cooperation between the countries in a number of fields.

Chinese President Xi Jinping insisting in Beijing said both countries should expand their cooperation in the fields of energy, telecommunications and infrastructure, Kathimerini said.

Xi made his remarks at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, – a Chinese initiative aimed at expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe through multi-billion-euro infrastructure investments.

Describing Greece as a vital part of Beijing’s vision to revive the Silk Route, Xi said the cooperation between the two countries “continues to glow with new dynamism,” adding that their cooperation in matters of energy, infrastructure and telecommunications must be “deep and solid.”

Tsipras hailed the “very significant” deals on energy, telecommunications, shipping and tourism signed with the National Development and Reform Commission of China and said that, “It is Greece’s strategic choice to strengthen ties with China on all levels.” He didn’t mention that some elements in his Radical Left SYRIZA party are opposed to parts of the Chinese company’s operation of the port of Pireaus to which he agreed after also opposing it.

The Greek infrastructure development group Copelouzos announced it had signed a deal with China’s Shenhua Group to join forces in green energy projects and the upgrade of power plants in Greece and other countries. According to a company statement, the deal will involve investment of 3 billion euros. Also last year, China’s State Grid became a strategic investor in Greek power grid operator ADMIE.