NICOSIA – In a meeting with a senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said he wanted closer relations between the countries and that they decided to tighten ties across the board in a number of sectors.
They decided to upgrade the China-Cyprus relationship to a strategic partnership and cooperate in areas including economy and trade, telecommunications, transportation, and clean energy, and promote cultural and educational exchanges to promote greater development of the bilateral ties, said China Global Television Network (CGTN.)
Yang, also Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said China also backs United Nations Security Council resolutions seeking reunification of Cyprus, the northern third occupied by Turkish-Cypriots since an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.
Yang said China stands ready to work with all European countries, including Cyprus, to uphold mutual respect, expand cooperation, and promote the healthy and stable development of China-European Union relations, said CGTN.
Some EU leaders, however, are wary of China’s growing influence in the bloc although there hasn’t been any talk of boycotting the 2022 Winter Olymics in Beijing over whether Chinese female tennis star Peng Shuai is being forcibly detained after accusing a senior government official of sexual assault.
Anastasiades described his recent phone conversation with President Xi as “very successful,” noting that the establishment of the Cyprus-China strategic partnership marks a new milestone in bilateral ties, without giving any further details about it.
The Cypriot President said he supports China’s one-China policy which doesn’t allow recognition of Taiwan, Cyprus wanting more trade with China and that his government will support China’s bid to gain more support in the EU.