Xi Jinping: China's civilization is never exclusive
Updated 22:39, 14-May-2019
The Chinese civilization has never been "exclusive" throughout history, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday, adding that it has been developing in an "inclusive" manner.
Xi made the remarks during his talks with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is on a state visit to China from Sunday to Thursday. Pavlopoulos will also attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing during his visit.
According to Xi, the ancient Greek civilization, the ancient Roman civilization, the Mediterranean civilization as well as Buddhism, Islam and Christianity entered China through the ancient Silk Road, integrated with the Chinese civilization and achieved localization. There were never "clashes of civilizations" or religious wars, he noted.
Aggression is never a tradition of the Chinese people, and China did not occupy a single piece of land during the overseas expeditions led by its admiral Zheng He (1371-1433) in the early 15th century, Xi stressed.
Calling Greece a "good friend" and "good partner" of China in Europe, he said Beijing is willing to make joint efforts with Athens to strengthen practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges and build the Belt and Road together.
Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
Pavlopoulos said the so-called "clash of civilizations" is a wrong belief, adding that different civilizations should learn from each other through dialogue.
Greece highly appreciates Xi's vision on civilizations in the world as well as the BRI and the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by the Chinese president, Pavlopoulos noted.
He said Greece is willing to seize the opportunity in co-building the Belt and Road and deepen exchanges and cooperation with China. 
Greece would also like to play an active role in promoting the development of relations between Europe and China and between Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) and China, he told Xi.
Last month, Greece became the 17th European member of the China-CEEC cooperation mechanism.
(Cover: Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos attend a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 14, 2019. /Reuters Photo)