The Domestic Sources of Greece’s China Policy
The 5th of June 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Greece and China. On this occasion, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged warm wishes. Two weeks earlier, on May 13, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, who described Greece-China relations as a “true reflection of mutual understanding and affinity between ancient civilizations, and a vivid epitome of the trend of the times for peace, development and win-win cooperation, setting a good example for the development of relations between China and European countries.” Dendias said that Greece firmly adheres to the one-China principle and that Wang Yi expressed his understanding of European and Greek concerns over the war in Ukraine. Finally, a symposium celebrating 50 years of Greece-China diplomatic relations was held at the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation in Piraeus on May 27th. Chinese Ambassador to Greece Xiao Junzheng noted that the two countries “must pursue mutual beneficial and win-win cooperation, which calls on us to align the construction of the 'Belt and Road' initiative with the 'Greece 2.0' plan, and expand bilateral cooperation in areas such as shipping, energy, infrastructure, green and digital economy.” Against this background, this report explores the roots of Greece’s China policy in order to better understand the dynamics of Sino-Greek relations. It argues that despite the competition between China and the West, Greece, an EU and NATO member, has developed a strong relationship with Beijing that remains remarkably stable.