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Wu Bangguo Attends the Sino-Greek Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and Delivers an Important Speech

Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China attended the opening ceremony of the Sino-Greek Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Athens during his official goodwill visit to Greece and delivered an important speech.

On May 23, 2006, Wu Bangguo, the visiting top legislator of China, attended the opening ceremony of the Sino-Greek Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Athens and delivered an important speech titled Hand in Hand for Greater Prosperity.

On the afternoon of May 23, the Sino-Greek Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum was held in the meeting hall of the Inter-Continental Hotel in Athens, capital of Greece. Wu Bangguo and Anna Psarouda-Benaki, Chairwoman of the Greek Parliament attended the opening ceremony of the Forum. Wu delivered an important speech amidst warm applauses. He first extended his warm congratulations upon the opening of the Forum and cordial greetings to the participating friends from different communities.

In his speech Wu introduced a new China, a China that has been marching toward modernization since the reform and opening up 28 years ago. He first explained that China is a fast-growing and open country by quoting a large amount of facts and statistics and then focused upon the fact that China is a democratic country based upon rule of law. He said that rule by law is a fundamental strategy of China. Since the founding in 1949, China has established a complete set of systems and mechanisms to safeguard and fulfill the rights of the people. In terms of the state political power, China adopted the people's congress system, through which the people can determine by themselves the future and fate of the nation. The people's congresses at all levels are formed through democratic election. They are held accountable for the people and supervised by the people. In terms of the political party system, the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was adopted. The CPC is the core leadership and the ruling party. All the other political parties are neither non-ruling parties nor opposition parties. They are participating parties. Major decisions and policies of the CPC concerning state affairs are made in full consultations with all the parties. There are regular consultation mechanisms as well as other consultation mechanisms. In the countryside and communities, the local self-governing system was adopted. The vast number of rural and urban residents exercise their rights of democratic election, decision-making, administration and supervision according to the law. They administer their own affairs. The socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics and with the constitution as the core is basically formed. The laws governing major aspects of the political, economic and social life of the state have been put in place. The freedom and rights of Chinese citizens are protected and safeguarded by the law. The concept of governing the country by law is well accepted by the Chinese people.

Wu pointed out that China is the largest developing nation in the world. China has a huge population and a weak foundation. The development in China is uneven. These are the basic national conditions of China. Therefore, there is still a long way for China to realize the modernization, which requires the painstaking efforts of several and even tens of generations.

Wu stressed that China will stick to the road to peaceful development. The development of China is closely related to the development of the world. A well-off life for China's 1.3-billion-population means a tremendous contribution to the peace, development and stability of the world. While reviewing the Sino-Greek relationship and the growing momentum of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Wu put forward 3 proposals to further the bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Firstly, deepening the cooperation in traditional areas such as shipping and shipbuilding. Secondly, expanding the cooperation to new areas such as tourism and Olympics. Thirdly, letting enterprises be important players in the economic and trade cooperation.

Wu finally said that in the history of human development, the oriental civilization represented by ancient China and the western civilization represented by Ancient Greece interacted with each other and glorified each other. Today, the history enables the two countries with ancient civilizations to join hands for greater prosperity. The eternal Olympic Flame will be passed to the Great Wall of China in 2 years and the Cultural Year of Greek in China will also open. Let's join hands to grasp the unprecedented historical opportunity to create a new landscape for the expansion of bilateral economic and trade cooperation and make new contributions to the economic development of the two countries, to the benefits of the people and to the prosperity and harmony of the world.

Psarouda-Benaki said in her address that the economic and trade cooperation should become the catalyst for the development of bilateral relations. There is a wide range of areas and a promising prospect for the bilateral cooperation. She expressed the hope that the Forum could create conditions for a new round of successful cooperation between the two sides.

The Forum is co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece. Present at the opening ceremony were Zhang Ruizhen, Wu's wife, Re Di, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, and some top officials of Greece. There were also over 500 businesspersons attending the Forum.

Following the opening ceremony, Wu and Psarouda-Benaki attended the signing ceremony of two documents including the Agreement on the Authorization of the Greek Government to China Classification Society (CCS) for Statutory Survey and Certification on Greek Ships and the Contract on the Broadband Multimedia Project between ZTE and TelePassport Hellas.

On the same evening, Wu Bangguo and his wife Zhang Ruizhen attended the welcome banquet hosted by Psarouda-Benaki.

Re Di, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC was also present at the signing ceremony and the banquet.

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