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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Holds Talks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio
2020-08-26

On 25 August local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome during his official visit to Italy.

Wang noted that, his visit to Europe– the first overseas trip by the Chinese foreign minister since the global pandemic – and Italy as the first leg underscores the importance of the bilateral relationship in China’s diplomacy as well as the significance China attaches to its relations with Europe. COVID-19 is a challenge to all countries; solidarity and cooperation is the only way out. China and Italy have been on the forefront of international cooperation against COVID-19, and have set a good example for others. His current visit builds on anti-epidemic cooperation between the two countries, and will usher in a new cooperation stage post COVID.

As 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic ties, Wang called for renewed efforts to keep up the momentum and strive for new progress in bilateral relations.

The two sides need to resume exchanges at various levels in an orderly manner, strengthen inter-governmental cooperation mechanisms and platforms, restart flagship cooperation projects as soon as possible, and formulate a new three-year action plan to advance practical cooperation so as to boost all-around development of the relationship. They should focus on the Belt and Road cooperation, make full use of the “fast track” for personnel exchanges to expedite business reopening, jointly ensure the success of the China-Italy Belt and Road business forum next year, and work for more tangible fruits from the Belt and Road cooperation.

At the same time, China and Italy should jointly uphold multilateralism and trade liberalization, safeguard global industrial and supply chains, and together contribute to global COVID-19 response and economic recovery.

Wang expressed China’s appreciation for Italy’s commitment to the one-China principle and for its understanding and support on issues involving China’s core interests and major concerns. He reaffirmed China’s support to Italy for a greater role in the EU as well as in regional and international affairs.

Wang said that China is ready to share development opportunities with the rest of the world; the more developed China becomes, the wider it will open its doors. China hopes that Italy and the EU can maintain the tradition of openness, and provide a fair and transparent environment for Chinese businesses. China is ready to work with the EU to conclude the negotiations on the investment treaty this year, and expand cooperation in such areas as digital economy and climate change to contribute to global economic recovery and development in the post-COVID era.

Di Maio described China as Italy’s indispensable global partner, applauded the time-honored friendship between the two countries, and expressed Italy’s appreciation for China’s timely assistance at its most difficult time in fighting the virus.

As the world economy is gradually recovering, fruitful cooperation between China and Italy is sending out a very positive signal. Italy is ready to work with China to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, convene the Joint Government Committee meeting within this year, formulate a new three-year action plan to advance practical cooperation and pursue new progress in key Belt and Road cooperation projects. Italy will take an active part in the China International Import Expo.

Italy supports closer cooperation between the EU and China. It stands ready to serve as a bridge between the East and the West, and between the EU and China, and hopes to see new, important outcomes from EU-China cooperation.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of shared interest.

After the talks, the two foreign ministers met the press together.

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