The Greek diplomat said the European Union does not want to be caught in the crossfire of the spiralling rivalry between China and the US, adding that the world should accept China’s rise and its quest for a bigger role on the world stage.
Last year the EU also called China “an economic competitor in pursuit of technological leadership and a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.”
“We prefer not to focus too much on [the notion of rivalry or competition], and we prefer to focus on the partnership and the cooperation part,” Iliopoulos told the South China Morning Post.
It is recalled Greece and China are currently working together to further develop and upgrade the Port of Piraeus, Greece’s largest harbour. “The Chinese investment in Piraeus is a strategic one that can benefit the local economy and society. It’s a win-win,” Greek Shipping and Island Policy Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis said earlier this year.
Earlier this year, Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with the newly-appointed Greek Ambassador. Gang welcomed Iliopoulos on his assumption of the new post in China, and expressed that the Chinese side is willing to maintain close communication with the Greek side and promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
On his part, Iliopoulos said it is a great honour to serve as Ambassador to China and he is ready to work closely with the Chinese side to make more contributions to the greater development of bilateral relations.