The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Centre for China Studies, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. On Monday 11 November 2019, during the official visit of the President of People’s Republic of China in Greece, the President of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation Panos Laskaridis and the President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Professor Xie Fuzhan, signed the agreement in a ceremony held at Maximos Mansion, and was attended by the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

The Centre for China Studies is the fruit of the collaboration between the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation (ALF) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the leading academic research centre of China. The CASS-ALF Centre for China Studies (CACCS) is housed at the Foundation’s premises in Piraeus. Both Greece and China are countries with great civilization and rich history, so this cooperation, built with the objective of promoting exchange and cooperation in arts, humanities and social sciences is founded on solid ground.

The CASS-ALF Centre for China Studies (CACCS) that has just been founded will work for the enhancement of bilateral cultural relations and will develop a variety of activities, aiming towards the promotion of Chinese culture in Greece and the production of scientific work in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences. Lectures, seminars and conferences will be organized as part of its activities, as well as exhibitions focusing on China and the Chinese studies.

The first joint event organized by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was the Conference “Greece-China relations and the Belt and Road Initiative”, held in collaboration with the newspaper China Daily on Friday 8 November 2019, at the Historical Library of the Foundation. The event aimed at the promotion of academic relations and research on China and Greece, for a high quality, comprehensive and sustainable bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative framework, and to forge closer relations for common prosperity for China and Greece. Eminent personalities and scholars from Greece and China participated at the Conference and analyzed the pivotal position of Greece for the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative and for economic connectivity between East and West, the potential for economic collaboration between Greece and China and the promotion of research and cross cultural communication.

The conference was addressed by Panos Laskaridis, President of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and the Alternate Minister for Citizen Protection George Koumoutsakos and Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily. Of great importance were the speeches of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Greece Zhang Qiyue and the Minister’s of Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis.

It is important to note that cooperation between Tsinghua University and ALF will not be discontinued because of the CACCS project between CASS and ALF. In its continuing effort to promote the study of Greek letters and arts abroad, the Foundation plans to continue cooperation independently with both Tsinghua and CASS. The Foundation will continue sending Greek academics to Tsinghua and welcoming students and postgraduates from the pristine Chinese university who visit Greece in order to proceed with their research in collaboration with Professors from Greek universities. A very important building block in this collaboration is the recent Tsinghua decision to introduce in its curriculum the teaching of Modern Greek Language, beginning in 2020.