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Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang: More Persons Like Marco Polo Are Needed in Response to the Call of the Times

2020/11/20

On November 19, 2020, Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang attended and addressed the reception in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Italy upon invitation at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing.

Qin Gang said, the heads of the two states held a telephone conversation to exchange congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. President Xi Jinping said China and Italy have upheld the principles of mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual benefit, win-win outcomes, mutual learning, and mutual assistance over the past five decades regardless of changes in international circumstances, become comprehensive strategic partners for the benefit of the two peoples, and set an example for the development of bilateral ties between countries with different systems and cultural backgrounds.

Qin Gang added, the Europe in the second half of the 13th century was unfamiliar with and curious about the remote China in the east. An Italian youth came to China after a long journey, and lived here for many years. He visited many places of China, and his record of what he saw and heard greatly promoted the exchanges between China and the West, and generated a widespread interest in China, which roused the first wave of "China fever" in the West and heralded the "Age of Navigation". The youth was Marco Polo.

Qin Gang said, over seven centuries have passed, and tremendous changes have taken place in the world. People today will not come to China from Europe through mountains and deserts, but Europeans are more interested in the contemporary China. What is China like? Where will it go? What influence will it bring to the world? China has offered answers, but Europeans should explore, understand and accept the answers of these questions by themselves. More persons like Marco Polo are needed to respond to the call of the times. Let's overcome ignorance and prejudice, increase exchanges and cooperation, and become partners and friends who understand, respect and trust each other and go forward hand in hand.

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