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China Committed to Solving Maritime Disputes via Dialogue: Premier Li
Li addresses the China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Forum held in Beijing
Edited by Li Nan 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) meets with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras at a China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Forum held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 4 (CHINANEWS.COM)

China is committed to solving maritime disputes through dialogue and negotiation with countries directly concerned in line with international laws and on the basis of respecting historical facts, said Premier Li Keqiang.

Li made the remarks at a China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Forum held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Li and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras attended the forum and deliver speeches.

Li said as a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China strives to safeguard the principles of the convention, stick to the path of peaceful development and oppose any maritime hegemony.

"China will not impose its own will on others," said Li. "Meanwhile, we will firmly safeguard China's legitimate rights."

China is willing to continue its cooperation with relevant countries so as to jointly maintain maritime peace and stability, the premier said.

He said the aim of the maritime cooperation forum is to work with Greece to forge ahead the harmonious development of maritime business and promote maritime cultural exchange.

On the project of the Piraeus port between China and Greece, Li said it is a model of bilateral cooperation of equality and mutual benefits and is an affirmative vote of Chinese enterprise for Greece.

Greek parliament ratified last week with an overwhelming majority the landmark agreement with China's COSCO Shipping for the acquisition of a majority stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, the largest port in Greece.

The project benefits from the stable international and regional environment and mutual trust accumulated in the past years between the two countries, Li said.

On China's economy, Li said it is not easy to achieve a growth rate of 6.7 percent in the first quarter and a continued steady development in the second quarter.

China is not a risk source for world economy, but a robust promoter of world economy and a firm defender of world peace, Li said.

He said China is glad to see Greece get out of the most difficult period, and hopes to see a stable and prosperous European Union.

Li called on both countries to work to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment so as to build a better future for China-Greece and China-EU cooperation.

Tsipras, for his part, said that Greece welcomes investment from China.

Hailing China's contribution to the global economy, Tsipras said China is playing a more and more important role in international affairs.

Greece is ready to integrate its development strategies with China, and further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China in various areas, he said.

Some 400 entrepreneurs from China and Greece attended the forum sponsored by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The first forum was held in Greece in June 2014.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2016)

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