China's ambassador to Greece Xiao Junzheng said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) on Wednesday that direct flights between Shanghai and Athens are due to begin on December 22.
The ambassador also referred to his country's pandemic prevention and control measures, saying that it was self-evident that China, a huge country with an area as large as the whole of Europe and four times the population, should have different approaches from region to region.
He said that the Chinese government attaches particular importance to this issue and wants the serious and outstanding problems raised by the people be dealt with with through the use science and careful attention to details, making efforts to achieve the best result in prevention and control at the lowest possible cost.
The Chinese ambassador explained why China insists on a zero Covid policy, saying that the special conditions that prevail there mean it cannot and should not imitate the prevention and control measures adopted by some Western countries.
As far as Greek-Chinese relations are concerned, the Chinese ambassador underlined that direct flights between the two countries are taking place as normal, while on December 22, Air China will launch the new direct Shanghai-Athens air connection.
He also said that the Chinese embassy in Greece is willing to maintain close communication with Greek companies and individuals in order to provide them with all possible assistance.
He explained that the Chinese government insists on making the people and human life its priority and implements a strategy of both protection against imported Covid cases and controlling their spread at home.
Strictly following a policy of "zero tolerance" for COVID-19, the country insists on coordinating epidemic control and prevention, on the one hand, with economic and social growth, he said.
The ambassador explained that China's "zero Covid" policy was one tailored to the special conditions that exist in that country, which meant that it would pay a huge cost, with millions of lives lost, if it adopted the same approach as Western countries.
Its "dynamic zero tolerance" policy is a scientific epidemic prevention strategy that has been determined based on the conditions in our country.
The word "dynamic" does not mean an attempt to completely eradicate cases, he said, while "zero tolerance" refers to avoiding a new and large resurgence of the epidemic.
Adapting to the evolution of the pandemic at the international level and to the mutations of the virus, China has improved the prevention and control policies and measures with the aim of protecting human life and the health safety of its people as much as possible, while at the same time ensuring that the negative impact of the epidemic in its economic and social development is contained to a minimum.