|Chinese president arrives in Athens for state visit|
ATHENS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao flew into Athens Monday for a state visit to Greece, which he said would be successful with the joint efforts by the Chinese side and the Greek side.
"In recent years, the China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership has been consolidated continuously with increased exchanges and expanded cooperation in all sectors," said President Hu in a written speech issued upon his arrival at the airport.
He said that China attaches great importance to the development of its relations with Greece and will work together with the Greek side for the even better ties in the future.
The Chinese leader said that he is looking forward to in-depth exchange of views with Greek leaders on bilateral ties and other important issues.
"With the joint efforts of both sides, I believe, my current visit would be successful and would further boost the China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership" he added.
Since China and Greece established diplomatic ties 36 years ago, bilateral relations have developed smoothly. In January 2006, the two countries agreed to forge a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Since then, the Sino-Greek relationship has entered a new development stage. The two countries have maintained frequent high-level exchanges, deepened mutual political trust, expanded economic and trade cooperation. In 2007, the bilateral two-way trade was recorded at 3.4 billion U.S. dollars, and in the first seven months of this year it reached 2.4 billion dollars.
In June this year, Greek President Karolos Papoulias visited China and had talks with President Hu. The two sides reached broad consensus on further expanding exchanges and cooperation in all areas and deepening China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership.
President Hu, who arrived in Athens from the Peruvian capital of Lima, is on the last leg of a five-nation trip.
He has already attended the G20 summit on financial markets and the world economy in Washington and the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Lima, and paid state visits to Costa Rica, Cuba and Peru.