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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy

On February 22, 2017, President Xi Jinping held talks at the Great Hall of the People with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy. The two heads of state unanimously agreed to view and develop bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and elevate China-Italy relations to new highs, so as to better benefit the two peoples.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China-Italy friendly exchanges enjoy a time-honored history and the two ancient civilizations have always attracted and shined upon each other. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations 47 years ago, the two sides have upheld equal treatment and mutually beneficial cooperation and become comprehensive strategic partners. At present, both countries are committed to comprehensively deepening reform. The development strategies of the two countries highly match each other, and mutually beneficial cooperation enjoys broad prospects. Both sides should maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, intensify exchanges and cooperation between governments, legislative bodies, and political parties as well as at all levels and jointly draw a blueprint for bilateral cooperation. We should strengthen the docking of development strategies, make innovation in cooperation patterns and manners and cultivate new cooperation growth points. China welcomes Italy to actively participate in the "Belt and Road" construction and build a broader platform to deepen cooperation between both sides. The two countries should focus on the new round of global scientific and technological and industrial reform, deepen cooperation in innovation, expand exchanges and cooperation in cultural heritage, push forward the construction of cultural centers as well as language teaching of Chinese and Italian in respective country and strengthen non-governmental exchanges.

Xi Jinping stressed that China is ready to work with Italy to maintain close communication and coordination on global economic governance, multilateralism, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other major topics within the UN, the G20 and other multilateral frameworks and jointly safeguard world peace, stability and development. China supports Europe to follow the integration path. It is hoped that both countries could actively forge the four major China-EU partnerships featuring peace, growth, reform and civilization and jointly build a peaceful, open, inclusive and prosperous world.

Sergio Mattarella noted that Italy and China, as two great civilizations, enjoy a long history of friendship. At present, bilateral relations have maintained a sound development. His visit to China is to deepen Italy-China comprehensive strategic partnership. The Italian side stands ready to, together with China, intensify high-level exchanges as well as cooperation in economy, trade, culture and all other fields, develop a more effective economic and trade relationship and propel people-to-people and cultural exchanges under the "Belt and Road" framework. Italy supports an open multilateral trade system. As a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council, Italy is willing to reinforce communication and coordination in international and regional affairs with China. Italy is committed to pushing Europe-China relations for in-depth development.

After the talks, the two heads of state jointly witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents covering culture, science, technology, education, health, economy, trade, innovation and other fields, and also held a group meeting with representatives from the 4th meeting of China-Italy Entrepreneur Committee and China-Italy Cultural Forum.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcoming ceremony for Sergio Mattarella at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Baowen, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chen Xiaoguang and others were present.

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