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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy

2019/03/23

On March 23, 2019 local time, President Xi Jinping held talks with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy in Rome.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China-Italy relations are rooted in the history of the two countries' thousand-year-old exchanges, with strong public support. In recent years, the two countries have continuously deepened communication and cooperation in various fields, which helped each other's social and economic development. Since China and Italy are important strategic partners to each other, both sides should always view and handle bilateral relations from a strategic height with long-term perspective. The two countries should take the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership this year and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Italy diplomatic relations next year as opportunities to jointly elevate bilateral relations into a new era, and allow the practical cooperation fruits in various fields better benefit the two peoples.

Xi Jinping stressed that with highly compatible development goals, China and Italy have strong complementarity in economy and bright cooperation prospect. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Italian side to comprehensively expand and deepen bilateral relations. Both sides should enhance top-level design, consolidate political basis, promote high-level exchanges, increase dialogue between various departments and on all levels, and continue to render mutual understanding and support on issues of each other's core interests and major concerns. China and Italy were at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, thus we have every reason to carry out cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We adhere to the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, follow the principle of openness and transparency, and aim for cooperation of win-win results. China and Italy should take the inking of the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding (MOU) on jointly building the BRI to strengthen the alignment of the BRI with Italy's plan to develop its northern ports and the InvestItalia program, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields. The two countries should increase convergence of interests, optimize and upgrade cooperation, and achieve more early results in priority areas such as space technology, infrastructure construction, transport, environment and energy. China and Italy should also strengthen communication and coordination on macroeconomic policy and jointly push forward third-party market cooperation in such fields as energy, finance and infrastructure construction. The two countries should take the opportunity of the culture and tourism year, to be held in each other's country in 2020, to forge friendly bonds of their world heritage sites and increase exchanges and cooperation between museums, at local levels, non-governmental cooperation and cooperation in sports and other sectors. China and Italy should also join hands in advocating trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, continue to strengthen communication on major issues such as the United Nations affairs, reform of the World Trade Organization, climate change and global governance, and safeguard multilateralism together.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China sticks to further opening up and welcomes Italian and other countries' enterprises to invest and start business in China. We also encourage Chinese enterprises, especially high-tech companies, to invest and develop in Italy, and regard Italy as an important partner in carrying out cooperation on science and technology innovation. The Chinese government has always encouraged Chinese enterprises to conduct overseas cooperation according to business principles and international rules, and on the basis of abiding by local laws. It is hoped that the Italian government will continue to provide good business environment for Chinese investors.

Xi Jinping emphasized that China and the European Union (EU) are constructors of world peace, contributors to global development and protectors of international order. The two sides should follow the trend of the times featuring a world of multi-polarization and economic globalization, and push for the construction of an open world economy. The two sides should accelerate the negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement, enhance the synergy of the BRI and the EU's development strategies, and boost communication and coordination on major international and regional issues. It is hoped that the Italian side would continue to play an active role in deepening China-EU dialogue and cooperation in all fields and promoting independent and stable development of China-EU relations.

Giuseppe Conte expressed that President Xi Jinping's visit to Italy bears historic significance and will surely lead Italy-China relations to a higher level. The two countries have a thousand-year-old history of exchanges, and the two ancient civilizations have interwoven with each other, with long-standing exchanges in economy, trade and culture, which served as an important foundation for the long-term development of the friendly cooperation. The Italian side attaches great importance to its relations with China, and is willing to deepen the Italy-China comprehensive strategic partnership and expand cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, investment, energy, agriculture, culture, tourism and aviation on the occasion of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations. With a special geographical advantage in building connectivity, Italy is glad to seize the historic opportunity to participate in the joint construction of the BRI. Giuseppe Conte strongly believes that it will help fully explore the potential of Italy-China cooperation. I am looking forward to attending the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Italian side welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Italy and realize mutual benefit and win-win outcomes. Italy stands firm in supporting multilateralism and free trade, and is ready to closely communicate and coordinate with the Chinese side so as to promote healthy and stable development of EU-China relations.

After their talks, the leaders of the two countries jointly witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents, including the MOU on jointly advancing the construction of the BRI, and the document on the return of Chinese relics confiscated by Italy.

The leaders of the two countries also paid a visit together to see the Chinese relics which are confiscated by the Italian side and will be returned to the Chinese side.

When Xi Jinping arrived, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte welcomed Xi Jinping at the parking site. The military band played the national anthems of both countries. The leaders of the two countries reviewed the honor guard together.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others attended the activities above.

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