(ECNS) -- A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday that China stands ready to work with participating countries to advance the high-quality BRI cooperation and make greater contribution to promoting global sustainable development and inter-civilization exchanges.
The spokesperson made the remarks on media reports that Italy is considering not renewing the Belt and Road Cooperation Document.
The following is the full text.
Q: It was reported that Italy is considering not renewing the Belt and Road cooperation document and it has expressed the hope that this would not affect its relations with China and willingness to continue enhancing cooperation with China. What is your response?
A: Engaging in Belt and Road cooperation is a right choice made by China and Italy based on the two countries’ historical and cultural bond and practical need for development. The signing of the Belt and Road cooperation document unleashed great enthusiasm and potential for bilateral cooperation. Over the past five years, bilateral trade has increased by 42 percent, reaching nearly $80 billion last year. Italy was the guest country of honor at the China International Import Expo and the China International Consumer Products Expo, and many Italian products can be found in the Chinese market. The two countries jointly built large-scale cruise ships and carried out third-market cooperation in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Italy has become the top European destination for Chinese tourists, and Italian art exhibitions and performances are quite popular in China.
Some forces have launched malicious hype and politicized the cultural exchange and trade cooperation between China and Italy under the Belt and Road framework in a bid to disrupt cooperation and create division. This goes against the trend of history and will hurt others without benefiting oneself. A decade on since China proposed the BRI, under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we have signed over 200 cooperation documents with more than 150 countries and more than 30 international organizations. The initiative has galvanized nearly $1 trillion of investment globally and created more than 3,000 projects and 420,000 jobs for participating countries. According to World Bank data, BRI cooperation will help lift nearly 40 million people out of poverty globally in the mid- to long-term. Facts have fully shown that Belt and Road cooperation meets development needs globally as well as the international community’s aspiration and retains strong resilience and vitality. China stands ready to work with participating countries to advance the high-quality BRI cooperation and make greater contribution to promoting global sustainable development and inter-civilization exchanges.