This photo shows the opening ceremony of "2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture" held in Eleusis, Greece on Feb. 4, 2023. （Xinhua/Marios Lolos）
In order to promote the development of human society and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind, we must deeply understand and grasp the age-old origins and rich contents of different civilizations and let the essence of all civilizations benefit the present generation and all mankind.
-- Chinese President Xi Jinping
Quote backgrounder: Chinese President Xi Jinping has replied to a letter from Professor Stelios Virvidakis of the University of Athens and four other Greek scholars recently, extending congratulations over the founding of the Center of Chinese and Greek Ancient Civilizations.
A letter from Greece: A few days ago, five Greek scholars, including Professor Stelios Virvidakis of the University of Athens and four other Greek scholars, wrote a joint letter to Xi, in which they expressed in great length their high recognition of the concept of civilization advocated by Xi and introduced preparations and development plans of the center.
The Center of Chinese and Greek Ancient Civilizations was launched on Monday at the University of Athens. It is committed to promoting exchanges and mutual learning between the two civilizations and promoting the development of civilizations of various countries.
Xi’s visit to Greece in 2019:
• In 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a three-day state visit to Greece to consolidate traditional friendship and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
• During this visit, Xi and the Greek leaders jointly advocated exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations.
• After the visit, the two sides actively implemented the consensus of the leaders and made preparations for the establishment of the Center of Chinese and Greek Ancient Civilizations.
History of mutual learning between Chinese, Greek civilizations
• 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.
• 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.
• Since we (China and Greece) entered into diplomatic ties in 1972 and particularly since we established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2006, China and Greece have always treated each other with respect and trust, and developed our relationship from a strategic, long-term perspective.
• The growth of China-Greece relations is testimony that ancient civilizations are capable of dynamic, mutually beneficial cooperation in modern times.
• Xi extends congratulations over founding of institute dedicated to mutual learning between Chinese, Greek civilizations