China, Italy on to stronger ties

President Xi Jinping and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella held talks Wednesday, pledging to enhance bilateral ties.Two leaders agreed to develop bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and advance the relationship to a higher level.

Xi called on the two countries to maintain high-level exchanges and close cooperation between their governments, legislative institutions and political parties.

China and Italy should synergize their development strategies and innovate cooperation patterns, Xi told Mattarella, who is on a state visit to China from Feb. 21 to 26.

“China welcomes Italy to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative,” Xi said.

Xi called for more cooperation in technological and industrial innovation and in the field of cultural heritage, promoting the building of culture centers and language teaching in respective country.

The president also stressed that China was willing to work with Italy to maintain world peace, development and stability through close communication on global economic governance, multilateralism and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the UN and G20.

“China supports European integration and hopes both sides foster China-Europe partnerships that feature peace, growth, reform and civilization, and build a peaceful, open, inclusive and prosperous world,” Xi said.

Mattarella said he came to China to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and that Italy hopes for closer high-level exchanges and cooperation in trade and culture.

Italy supports an open multilateral trading system and will enhance coordination with China in international and regional affairs, Mattarella said, adding that Italy backs the development of Europe-China relations.

After their talks, Xi and Mattarella witnessed the signing of cooperation documents in culture, science, education, health, trade and innovation. Prior to the talks, Xi held a welcoming ceremony for Mattarella at the Great Hall of the People.

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