Chinese President Xi Jinping and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday visited the Piraeus Port, a flagship project in bilateral collaboration, and hailed it as a success under the Belt and Road cooperation.
In 2009, a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Company, also known as COSCO, started managing the Piraeus Port's container terminals. In 2016, COSCO acquired a majority stake in the port and formally took over its management and operation.
So far, the project has created jobs for over 10,000 local people directly and indirectly, and has built the Piraeus Port into the largest port in the Mediterranean region and one of the fastest growing container terminals in the world.
Upon their arrival, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan, accompanied by the Greek prime minister and his wife, were warmly welcomed by Chinese and foreign employees waving national flags of the two countries.
Talking with Xi about their work and life, representatives of local staff extended heartfelt gratitude to COSCO for providing them with job opportunities in the most difficult times during the Greek debt crisis.
Thanks to the Chinese company, they now enjoy stable jobs and happy lives, the Greek employees told Xi.
With the Piraeus Port becoming an important fruit in jointly building the Belt and Road, the local staff said they feel very proud and have full confidence in the port's future.
Delighted to visit the port, Xi said that seeing is believing, and that he has seen here today that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was not a slogan or tale, but a successful practice and brilliant reality.
Noting that the BRI upholds the principle of extensive consultation, joint development and shared benefits, Xi said no one makes decisions for others, instead, all participants share responsibilities and benefits in BRI cooperation.
China, in its external exchanges, upholds the right approach to justice and interests, said the Chinese president, adding that he is delighted to know that COSCO's Piraeus Port project was able to help local people through hard times.
Xi called local workers as important participants in and contributors to jointly building the Belt and Road as they have helped the Piraeus Port develop well, and wished them success at work and a happy life.