2019-11-12 11:39





  Let Wisdom of Ancient Civilizations Shine Through the Future

  中华人民共和国主席 习近平

  Xi Jinping

  President of the People's Republic of China


  It is my great pleasure to pay a state visit to the beautiful country of Greece at the invitation of President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. In 2014, I made a stopover on Rhodes, and was deeply impressed by the ancient and rich Greek civilization and the hard-working and talented Greek people. It is with great respect for civilizations and high expectations for a bright future that I will once again visit this beautiful country, something I very much look forward to.


  Great civilizations have much in common to offer each other. More than 2,000 years ago, ancient Chinese and Greek civilizations shone brightly in Asia and Europe. Greek's golden era produced many of its great philosophers and literary giants. That coincided with a period in China when "a hundred schools of thought contended with each other" and flourished together. Nikos Kazantzakis, a giant of modern Greek literature who had visited China twice, commented that "Confucius and Socrates were two masks that covered the same face of human logic." Humanism, which traces its origin to the Sophists of ancient Greece, resonates with the Confucian teaching that "people are the roots of a country." One can also find much similarity between the lifestyle and philosophy of Diogenes and Zhuangzi, a leading Daoist philosopher who lived around the 4th century BC in China.


  Great civilizations understand each other better. As early as the 4th century BC, China was known to the Greeks by a beautiful name: Sērikḗ. In the 16th century, Euclid's Elements was introduced into China, paving the way for scientific exchanges between China and the West. The story of Prometheus narrated by Aeschylus was an inspiration to many Chinese revolutionaries. The Republic by Plato and Politics by Aristotle are also among those Greek classics that have long made names for themselves in China.


  Great civilizations always stand by each other. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Greek shipowners were among the first to break through the blockade and send much-needed supplies and equipment to New China. When Greece was plagued by economic and debt woes a decade ago, China provided wholehearted assistance to help our Greek friends emerge from the hard time. When conflict and war raged in Libya in February 2011, hoteliers on Crete, though in winter recess, provided accommodation to thousands of Chinese citizens evacuated from Libya. For over sixty years, year in and year out, the Greece-China Association has been committed to advancing the friendly exchanges between our two nations. The late Prof. Luo Niansheng, a renowned Chinese scholar and translator, is remembered for his life long dedication to the translation and research of Greek literature and for his important contribution to furthering our friendship, a legacy carried on by his son and granddaughter.



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