ATHENS, Greece — China and Greece signed 16 bilateral agreements on Monday outlining cooperation in a broad range of sectors during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed at furthering a major global investment initiative inside the European Union.
China’s state-owned shipping giant Cosco controls Greece’s largest port of Piraeus, near Athens, and Beijing is keen to boost Chinese investment in Greece as part of its global “Belt and Road” investment initiative.
“Both sides see China and Greece as natural partners for building the Belt and Road,” Xi said after meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “We would like to mesh the Belt and Road initiative more closely with the development strategy of this country.”
Xi said both countries would “fully leverage” Piraeus’ shipment capabilities and strengthen the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line, a trade route between China and Europe that on land connects Piraeus with Budapest in Hungary.