The year 2010 saw fast growth of the bilateral relationship between the People's Republic of China and the Hellenic Republic featuring fruitful cooperation. The comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries continued to deepen.
The two sides had frequent high-level exchanges and stronger political mutual trust. During his official visit to Greece from 2 to 4 October, Premier Wen Jiabao met with President Karolos Papoulias, Parliament Speaker Philippos Petsalnikos and President Antonis Samaras of the New Democratic Party, Greece's main opposition party and had talks with Prime Minister George Papandreou. The leaders of the two countries had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, the international financial crisis and international issues of mutual interest. In his speech delivered at the Hellenic Parliament, "Confidence and Cooperation Will See Us Through Difficulties", Premier Wen clearly stated China's support for the efforts made by Greece and the EU to tackle the financial crisis. Premier Wen also accepted the Golden Medal of the Hellenic Parliament. Premier Wen and Greek leaders attended the signing ceremony of 12 bilateral cooperation agreements and commercial contracts totaling US$640 million, including the MOU Between the Ministry of Commerce of People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness of the Hellenic Republic on Furthering Cooperation of Bilateral Investment. The Sino-Greek Joint Statement on Deepening Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was issued by the two sides. From 14 to 17 June, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang visited Greece. He had meetings with President Papoulias and Prime Minister Papandreou and talks with Vice Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos. A total of 14 cooperation agreements and commercial contracts worth US$ 900 million were signed, including the MOU on Cooperation in the Fields of Ship and Maritime Technologies Between the Mininstry of Transport of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry for Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping of the Hellenic Republic. From 27 April to 1 May, Vice Prime Minister Pangalos came to Shanghai for the opening ceremony of World Expo 2010 and met with Vice Premier Li Keqiang.
The two foreign ministries maintained close consultation and cooperation. From 5 to 6 February, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun visited Greece. He had a political consultation with Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis, met with President Papoulias and had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Papandreou.
Exchanges between parliaments and military were dynamic. NPC Vice Chairwoman Chen Zhili went to Greece for the UNESCO Future Forum on "Gender Equality: the Missing Link?-Rethinking the Internationally Agreed Development Goals Beyond 2015" in September. While in Greece, she met with Parliament Speaker Petsalnikos and exchanged views with him on bilateral relations and parliamentary exchanges. The Chinese naval escort fleet escorted Greek oil tankers and commercial ships off the Somali coast on many occasions.
Two-way trade showed strong momentum of rebound and major progress was made in cooperation in maritime shipping. COSCO rented 10 freighters from Greece and participated in infrastructure building in Greece. Chinese shipyards received a large number of orders from the Greek side for ship building and renovation. The Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank carried out financial service cooperation with Greek shipping companies.
The two countries had good cooperation in culture, press and publication. From 22 to 25 April, China attended the Thessaloniki International Book Fair as Guest of Honor. On the sideline of the book fair, China hosted the China-Greece Civilization Dialogue Forum and some other cultural events, which deepened the mutual understanding of the two peoples.