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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio via video link

fmprc.gov.cn| Updated: 2020-07-31

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On 29 July, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio via video link.

Wang said that since the start of COVID-19, China and Italy have supported each other and worked together to fight the virus. Such cooperation has deepened the relations and traditional friendship between the two countries and set a good example of solidarity and partnership for the international community.

Wang stressed that cooperation is the most powerful weapon in defeating the virus and the most effective way to pursue common development. As important economies in the world and comprehensive strategic partners, the two countries should seize the opportunities brought by anti-epidemic cooperation to plan for and advance their broader bilateral cooperation in the future.

Wang commended Italy's political decision to support and participate in Belt and Road cooperation, which has opened up new prospects and injected fresh impetus into bilateral cooperation across the board. New cooperation opportunities will continue to emerge in the post-COVID-19 era.

Wang urged the two sides to make good use of the "fast track" arrangement to provide necessary support for the restart of major projects. China is ready to forge greater synergy between its new infrastructure initiative and "Fast Italy" to unlock more cooperation potential in digital technologies, ICT, infrastructure, port construction and third-market cooperation, which has the potential to serve as a model of mutually beneficial cooperation for others.

Wang pointed out that COVID-19 shows that the world has become a global village and mankind shares the same future. China is ready to work with Italy and others for the safety and health of all mankind by advancing a "Silk Road of health" and building a global community of health for all.

Noting the different social systems in China and European countries, Wang believed that they are the choices made by the people based on their own profound histories and civilizations. It is important for China and the EU to respect, appreciate and learn from each other to make the world a more diverse place that celebrates common progress and prosperity between countries with different civilizations and development models.

Wang stressed that China and the EU are not systemic rivals. The two sides have far more cooperation than competition and far more common ground than disagreement. China has all along supported European integration and welcomes a stronger EU playing a more important role in international affairs. China hopes that the EU will maintain its strategic independence and, acting in its own fundamental and long-term interests, will take an objective, fair and positive approach toward China, keep to the right direction in developing its relations with China, and be vigilant against attempts to stoke ideological confrontation for selfish gains.

Under the current circumstances, the two sides should send out a positive message of China and the EU standing together against global challenges and advancing multilateralization to instill more stability and positive energy into the UN-centered international system.

Di Maio expressed appreciation to China for swiftly providing anti-epidemic supplies and sending medical experts to Italy at the most trying moment in its battle against COVID-19. The joint fight against the virus has strengthened the friendship between the two countries. Without China's supply of containment materials, global response efforts cannot succeed. China is indispensable for the future development of the world, the foreign minister said. As the first G7 country to sign an MOU on Belt and Road cooperation with China, Italy supports the building of a "Silk Road of health" and is actively advancing key cooperation projects.

Di Maio said that Italy is ready to maintain close communication with China to prepare for the meetings of the China-Italy Joint Government Committee and the China-Italy Economic Cooperation Mixed Committee. Italy will take an active part in the third China International Import Expo. These efforts will produce more cooperation outcomes in wide-ranging areas. Di Maio stressed that Italy attaches great importance to the EU-China relationship and stands ready to serve as a bridge between the two sides for deepening strategic cooperation and strengthening coordination on international affairs.

The two ministers also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.

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