EU member Greece signs Belt and Road Initiative deal with China

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Aug 28, 2018, 10:44 AM(IST)

China and Greece agreed to cooperate on developing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as their foreign ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) after meeting in the Chinese capital on Monday. Photograph:( Reuters )

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China reaffirming its aim to connect the Belt and Road Initiative with European investment.

Greece has become the first developed nation to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on developing China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi signed the deal with China reaffirming its aim to connect the Belt and Road Initiative with European investment.

"China sticks to openness, transparency and inclusiveness in building the Belt and Road, not forming a clique, no high criteria, no back-room deals," foreign minister Wang said, adding,"Developed or developing countries are both equal partners in the construction of the Belt and Road. Especially at a time when unilateralism and protectionism are rising."

"Building the Belt and Road itself is a sign of commitment to multilateralism," Wang declared.

The move comes even as EU member states last month criticised  Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. EU came down heavily on Greece, Hungry and the Czech Republic for its trade relations with China. The EU said China was "pursuing domestic political goals", a statement which was rejected by the Chinese foreign ministry.

Germany and France, principal countries in the EU view China's BRI with suspicion cautioning other European countries to ensure it does not harm European economic intrests.

However, Greek foreign minister Kotzias said his country will cooperate with China in politics, the economy and culture.

"I think the most important thing is that we are two countries, two people, two ministers who trust each other, we are working together with confidence. The second is the economy, we have to learn a lot from China," said Kotzias said.

China and Greece seek to continue to work together on the Port Piraeus program, seen as the Gateway for China in Europe Port Piraeus has 55 sea lanes and it allows BRI countries to expand their reach into the Mediterranean and to other countries around the world.

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