|Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli Attends Chinese Spring Festival Celebrations in Thessaloniki|
On February 11, the Chinese Ambassador Mr. Zou Xiaoli attended the Chinese Lantern Festival (the last day of the Chinese Spring Festival) celebrations jointly organized by the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the local Chinese community, which involved many performances such as Chinese traditional lion dancing, live music recitals, Kung-Fu, and singing. Mayor Boutaris and several deputy mayors, the President of Amphictyony of Ancient Greek Cities and Mayor of Marathon Mr. Psinakis, President Li Fengping of the Chinese Association of China-Greece Friendship, members of the local Chinese community and students, as well as thousands of locals were also present.
At first, Ambassador Zou extended his best wishes for the Chinese Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival to all the guests and the spectators. He said that several areas of the city, such as the entrance to the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), Aristotelous Square and China Town have been decorated with red lanterns and a festive atmosphere abounds, a sign of the warm friendship that connects the Municipality and the people of Thessaloniki with the Chinese people. It also shows that Chinese community here has been harmoniously integrated into the local society. Ambassador Zou thanked the municipality of Thessaloniki for their care and assistance to the Chinese community, while he expressed his assessment on the contribution of the Chinese community to the local society. He said that 2017 is especially important for China-Greece relations, as China will be the Country of Honor in this year's TIF, with more events to follow. He also expressed his optimism that the local Chinese community and the people and institutions of Thessaloniki will actively support and participate in these important bilateral exchanges. By continuing to strengthen bilateral relations, we can hope to reap the fruits of our efforts.
Mayor Boutaris on his part said that the local Chinese community is comprised of hard-working, honest, law-abiding and respectable individuals, and has greatly contributed to Thessaloniki. He expressed his hope that they will continue to grow in numbers, flourish, and diversify their business activities further, becoming ever more closely assimilated into the local society, thereby helping Greek people to better understand Chinese culture. Thessaloniki is willing to reinforce its cooperation with the Chinese side, as China will be the Country of Honor in this year's TIF, something that is expected to provide new stimulus for the attainment of more concrete outcomes. The Municipality is also willing to provide even better services and support to the Chinese community.