Wang Yi Holds Talks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio

On August 25, 2020 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was paying an official visit to Italy, held talks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome.

Wang Yi said, my visit to Europe is the first visit by a Chinese foreign minister since the COVID-19 started to spread worldwide, and Italy is the first stop, which shows the importance of China-Italy relations in China's diplomacy and the great value the Chinese side attaches to its ties with the European Union (EU). The pandemic is a common challenge facing all mankind, and solidarity and cooperation among all countries are the correct response. In this regard, China and Italy are at the forefront of the world, setting an example for international anti-pandemic cooperation. This visit is a continuation of China-Italy solidarity in fighting the pandemic and marks the beginning of bilateral efforts to deepen cooperation in the post-pandemic era.

Wang Yi said, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Italy, and the two countries should take advantage of the momentum and push for new progress in bilateral relations. The two sides should resume exchanges at all levels in an orderly manner, strengthen the intergovernmental cooperation mechanism, restart the landmark cooperation projects between the two countries at an early date, formulate a new three-year action plan to strengthen practical cooperation and promote the comprehensive development of bilateral relations. Both countries should focus on Belt and Road cooperation, make good use of the "fast lanes" for personnel exchanges, accelerate work and production resumption, ensure the success of the China-Italy Belt and Road entrepreneurs conference next year, and promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative for more visible results. The two countries should jointly safeguard multilateralism and trade liberalization, safeguard the security of global industrial and supply chains, and contribute to promoting global anti-pandemic cooperation and economic recovery. The Chinese side appreciates the Italian side's adherence to the One China policy and its understanding and support on issues concerning the Chinese side's core interests and major concerns. The Chinese side will, as always, support the Italian side in playing a greater role in the EU and international and regional affairs.

Wang Yi noted, the Chinese side is willing to share the opportunities of its development with the rest of the world. The more China develops, the wider its door to the outside world will open. It is hoped that the Italian side and the EU side can also maintain the tradition of opening-up to the outside world and provide Chinese companies with a fair and transparent business environment. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the EU side to complete the negotiations on the China-EU investment agreement within this year, expand cooperation in such areas as digital economy and climate change, and make positive contributions to bolstering global economic recovery and development in the post-pandemic era.

Luigi Di Maio said, China is an important and indispensable partner of the Italian side on a global scale, and Italy-China friendship enjoys a long history. The Italian side is grateful to the Chinese side for extending a helping hand in the most difficult period of its fight against the epidemic. At a time when the global economy is recovering, Italy-China cooperation has achieved fruitful results, sending a very positive signal to the outside world. The Italian side hopes to further strengthen the existing cooperation mechanism between the two countries, hold a new joint meeting of the Italy-China Government Committee within the year, map out a new three-year action plan for strengthening bilateral practical cooperation and push for new progress in important cooperation projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Italian side will actively participate in the China International Import Expo. The Italian side supports the strengthening of EU-China cooperation, stands ready to serve as a bridge for East-West communication and a link for China-EU exchanges. It is hoped that EU-China cooperation could constantly achieve new and important results.

The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern.

After the talks, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio jointly met the press.

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