China looks to operating Cypriot ports, developing surrounding industrial areas

China's foreign minister says his country is interested in operating Cypriot ports and to help turn the small east Mediterranean island nation into a regional shipping hub.

Wang Yi also said after talks Monday with his Cypriot counterpart that China is looking to develop industrial zones around the ports.

Cyprus issued tenders earlier this year for a new operator to manage its largest port in the town of Limassol as a container hub, a cruise liner port of call or to offer sea services.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said he conveyed his government's "great wish" that Chinese companies succeed in the tender.

Kasoulides pointed to the "successful participation" of China's Cosco in Greece's main port of Piraeus, where it has a concession to operate two of three container terminals.