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Premier Li talks with Italian PM

Updated: May 17,2021 20:51 PM

Premier Li Keqiang held a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi from Beijing on May 17.

As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Italy boast a long history of bilateral ties and a strong bond of interests, Premier Li said.

Since last year, he said, the two countries have joined hands in carrying out international cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and saw positive progress in key cooperation projects.

The Chinese side is willing to boost collaboration with Italy in areas such as trade, investment, energy, and tackling climate change, he said.

The Premier also stressed efforts to ensure the success of the China-Italy Year of Culture and Tourism next year for greater cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and enhance cooperation under the framework of the Group of 20 (G20).

Premier Li said he believed the deepening of bilateral relations and cooperation will benefit the two peoples.

China highly values its relations with the European Union, Premier Li said, noting that a united and prosperous EU is an important force in safeguarding world peace, supporting multilateralism and facilitating free trade.

The Premier expressed hope that China and the EU could adhere to open, pragmatic cooperation and address differences through dialogues and negotiations on the basis of mutual respect.

China-EU cooperation will drive global economic recovery, he said, calling for joint efforts to sign and implement the China-EU investment agreement as early as possible.

Premier Li said he expected Italy, an important EU member, to continue to play an active role in promoting the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations.

For his part, Draghi said the Italian side attaches great importance to the Italy-China comprehensive strategic partnership, and would like to work with China to further important cooperation projects between them, deepen collaboration in areas including energy, aviation, economy, and trade and investment, and strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges by taking advantage of the Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism next year.

Thanking China for supporting Italy as the G20 presidency country, Italy is willing to, together with the Chinese side, increase communication and coordination on multilateral affairs, push forward global anti-pandemic cooperation, contribute to world economic recovery, and deal with climate change and other challenges, Draghi said.

Italy supports proceeding with the EU-China investment agreement, which is an important consensus reached by the two sides, via dialogues as early as possible, Draghi added.

He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended.