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Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang Requires the Italian Side to Suspend the Decision to Cancel Direct Flights Between Italy and China The Italian Side Agrees to Resume Some Commercial Flights

2020/02/07

On February 6, 2020, Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with Italian Ambassador to China Luca Ferrari. Qin Gang noted, since the outbreak of the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus, the Italian side, without informing the Chinese side, made the decision to suspend direct flights between the two countries. Such practice has caused great inconvenience for both peoples, as evidenced by many Chinese citizens still stranded in Italy. The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with the overreaction and restrictions of the Italian side. The Chinese government attaches great importance to safeguarding the legitimate rights of Chinese citizens overseas, and will do our utmost to bring the Chinese nationals home. The staff at the Chinese Embassy in Italy have worked non-stop to help Chinese tourists overcome difficulties. The Chinese side urges the Italian side to actively respond to the urgent and reasonable concerns of the Chinese side and cancel the decision as soon as possible. The top priority now is to approve the resumption of some commercial flights, and meanwhile well arrange the Chinese nationals stranded in Italy. In addition, the Chinese side requires the Italian side to act from the perspective of long-term bilateral exchanges and the general picture of cooperation and stop introducing new restrictive measures.

Luca Ferrari said, the Italian side sympathizes and understands the situation of Chinese nationals stranded in Italy, as well as attaches importance to the concerns of the Chinese side. The Italian side is willing to approve some round-trip civil flights according to the applications from Chinese airlines at this stage, and work actively to resume normal exchanges between the two countries.

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