Greece PM invited to visit China

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gives a press conference after his meeting with the head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in Athens, on February 11, 2015 (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)

Athens (AFP) - Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been invited to visit Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, a government source said Wednesday.

Li Keqiang called Tsipras to congratulate him on his electoral victory and say "he would work to deepen and widen the historic ties between the two countries", the source said.

It comes a day after a minister in Athens's radical leftist government said the country may look to Beijing for support if the EU refuses to play ball on a bid to overhaul Greece's loathed bailout commitments.

Defence Minister Panos Kammenos warned Tuesday that if negotiations with the eurozone fail, the country will go to a "Plan B", which could involve asking for funding from the China, Russia or the United States.

But government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis appeared to rule out that option, saying that "our relations with the EU are non-negotiable. Nobody is discussing a change of direction."

Greece's Foreign Minister Yanis Varoufakis was in Brussels for an extraordinary Eurogroup meeting called to address a diplomatic drama sparked by Athens's demands for it to be allowed a break from austerity.

The country blames the terms of the 240 billion euro ($270 billion) bailout it accepted during Europe's debt crisis for its financial woes.

Tsipras has sworn not to bow to Greece's international creditors, who have said the government must complete a pending loan agreement with the EU and the IMF before any negotiations will be contemplated.