Xi calls for advancing China-Italy cooperation
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that China and Italy should keep exchanges at all levels, promote mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, boost exchanges and dialogue among civilizations, and jointly maintain the healthy development of China-Europe relations.
Xi made the remarks in a phone conversation with Italian President Sergio Mattarella to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Xi pointed out that over the past half a century, no matter how the international situation changes, China and Italy have respected and trusted each other, promoted their mutual benefits, as well as helped and learned from one another, adding that the two sides have also built up a comprehensive strategic partnership that has benefitted the two peoples, and set an example for countries with different systems and cultural backgrounds to develop bilateral relations.
In the face of the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese and Italian peoples have joined hands in the fight against the pandemic, setting an example for the international community to overcome difficulties together, said Xi.
The two sides, he said, should review the past, look forward to the future and build on the past to push for greater development of China-Italy relations in the new era.
Xi noted that the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) adopted the CPC Central Committee's proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, saying that China will adhere to a new development philosophy, build a new development pattern, promote high-quality development and push forward reform and opening-up at a higher starting point.
China welcomes active participation by various countries including Italy in its development and construction for mutual benefits and win-win results, Xi said.
Stressing that the human race belongs to a community with a shared future, Xi said that peace and development, sticking together through thick and thin, and win-win cooperation are the right path.
He also said that China supports Italy's pandemic response that has been carried out based on its own national conditions, adding that China is willing to continue offering assistance to the European country, jointly support the roles of organizations like the World Health Organization , and co-build a community of common health for mankind.
China supports Italy to chair the Group of 20 (G20) next year and is willing to work with Italy to promote the G20's important role in improving global governance and promoting global economic recovery, Xi said.
Mattarella said he fully agrees with Xi on his assessment of the bilateral relations, adding that the traditional friendship between the two countries enjoys a long history.
Over the past 50 years since Italy and China established their diplomatic relations, the president noted, the two sides have maintained friendly relations and continuously deepened bilateral exchanges and cooperation, which the Italian side feels proud of.
He said since this year the two peoples have helped and supported each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and that China has provided valuable support for Italy when it underwent its most difficult times, adding that the Italy-China friendship has withstood the test and will last forever.
Italy is willing to deepen friendship, expand cooperation and promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges with China in the spirit of the comprehensive strategic partnership, the president said, noting that as the two countries are scheduled to host Winter Olympics successively, he called for mutual support between the two sides.
Mattarella called for adherence to multilateralism and promotion of international cooperation in the face of such global challenges as the pandemic and climate change.
Italy is willing to work with China to support the work of the WHO, strengthen coordination within the G20 and other mechanisms, improve global governance, and make due contributions to world peace and development as two ancient civilizations, he said.
China's development will provide huge opportunities for the Europe-China cooperation, and Italy is willing to actively support and participate in the development of Europe-China relations, he said, adding that he cherishes his friendship with Xi and looks forward to visiting China as soon as possible after the pandemic.