Representatives of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) and the Beijing Normal University (BNU) participated in a forum held in Athens on Thursday under the title "China-Greece Dialogue: The contemporary reach and influence of Chinese culture."
During the event hosted at the main building of the NKUA, Greek and Chinese professors exchanged views on the links between Greek and Chinese culture and explored prospects to deepen bilateral cooperation in the academic field, in science and art.
"We share several common elements we can develop into a very positive cooperation in the future in the cultural sector...Today's forum will highlight these aspects and the potential of collaboration," Professor Eleni Karamalengou, dean of the School of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens said in the opening remarks.
Welcoming Chinese professors and students at the forum, Greece Professor Meletios Athanasios Dimopoulos, rector of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, said that the Greek university already has cooperation with ten Chinese universities and aims to strengthen these links through student exchange programs and special courses.
NKUA will soon launch a course in Greek literature in the English language to attract more foreign students who do not speak Greek, he announced.
"The main driving force towards this direction was our wish to attract students from China... We could not settle with only those who know the Greek language," the rector explained.
"We believe we must open our university in particular in fields of great significance for Greece through studies programs in English," he added.
On her part, addressing the forum, Professor Huang Huilin, dean of Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture from the Beijing Normal University, stressed that cooperation between the two countries in this field will be to the benefits of the entire world.
"Both countries' civilizations exerted great influence on the development of the world civilization," she said, adding that the meeting of the two civilizations in the 21st century can help mankind.
Communication between China and Greece is not just between two countries, but a form of modern dialogue and mutual activation between two ancient civilizations from the East and the West, Huang said.
"We attach great importance to this academic exchange with the University of Athens," she concluded.
Speaking to Xinhua, Wang Chao, cultural attache of the Chinese embassy in Athens, warmly welcomed such initiatives which bring the two people closer through cultural exchanges and dialogue between civilizations.
"It is a good opportunity for students and teachers to know each other deeply... To accomplish mutual understanding is our basic target. We hope that such cultural forums, such dialogue can be held more and more. To make people listen to each other directly, see each other directly is better to know each other," he said.