Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 27, 2019. (Photo/Xinhua)
President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for joint efforts by China and Italy to expand trade and two-way investment and develop bilateral friendship and cooperation. Together, they could be a model for China-European Union cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Xi's remarks followed his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who was in China to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Recalling his successful state visit to Italy last month, Xi said he was deeply impressed in Italy by the strong expectations from all walks of life to boost cooperation with China, as well as by Italians' sincere friendship toward the Chinese people.
Italy's decision to return more than 700 items of historical relics to China, which are now available for public viewing at the National Museum of China, has been well-received by the Chinese people, he said.
China highly appreciates Italy becoming the first major Western country to have signed a memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road, he added.
China stands ready to jointly move forward in the building of the initiative and to participate in exchanges in science and technology and people-to-people exchanges. Those will ensure the Chinese and Italian peoples continue to benefit from bilateral friendship and cooperation, he said.
Xi said the two countries should step up coordination to improve global governance, safeguarding free trade and multilateralism and developing a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.
Conte congratulated China for the successful hosting of the forum, and lauded speeches made by Xi as highly strategic.
Italy stands firm in its participation in the BRI and believes it will provide good opportunities for the world, he said.
Italy also welcomes further investment from Chinese businesses and will offer them unbiased policies, Conte said.