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Solidarity, cooperation effective for anti-epidemic fight, economic recovery: Chinese FM

Updated: Aug 26,2020 04:10 PM    Xinhua

ROME — Solidarity and cooperation present not only the most powerful weapon for the international community to fight COVID-19, but also the most effective way to restore economic and social development, visiting State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Rome on Aug 25.

Wang made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, conveying cordial greetings from the Chinese leadership to Conte and thanking him for exchanging views by telephone during his vacation.

Noting that his visit to Europe was the first made by the Chinese foreign minister since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, Wang said Italy being the first leg of his visit sends a clear signal that China attaches importance to Italy.

The two countries and peoples have supported each other in the face of difficulties and set an example of cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, Wang said, adding that bilateral relations have also been further enhanced in the joint fight against the novel coronavirus.

As good partners, Wang said, China and Italy fought side by side when the epidemic broke out and should seek common development in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Noting that he and his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio reviewed the experience of developing China-Italy relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 50 years ago and jointly charted the course for the development of bilateral relations for the next 50 years on Aug 25, Wang said both sides agree to promote all-round development of China-Italy relations with the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as an important driving force, the upholding of multilateralism as a common vision, and the promotion of dialogue and cooperation among different civilizations as due obligations.

China supports Italy in assuming the presidency of the Group of 20 next year, and stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Italy to jointly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, strengthen cooperation in global governance, safeguard the multilateral trading system, and build an open world economy, so as to make positive contributions to world peace and development in the post-pandemic era, Wang said.

China attaches great importance to China-EU relations and is ready to conduct bilateral communication and exchanges in the spirit of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, Wang said, adding that China is glad to see Italy playing a positive role in this regard.

For his part, Conte asked Wang to convey his sincere greetings and best wishes to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. He also thanked China for its valuable support in fighting COVID-19 on behalf of the Italian government and people.

The friendship between the two peoples has grown stronger over time, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with China on BRI has provided Italy with important development opportunities, Conte said.

The Italian side hopes to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in energy, industry, economy and trade, and promote a more balanced economic and trade relationship with China, he added.

Italy is ready to play an important role in promoting the healthy development of EU-China relations, and looks forward to the completion of negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement as scheduled and the signing of the EU-China agreement on geographical indications as soon as possible, he said.

He also said that Italy firmly supports multilateralism and advocates solving problems and challenges facing the world through multilateral rather than unilateral means.