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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on the Phone

2020-08-26

On 25 August local time, during his visit to Italy, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke on the phone with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte who was out of Rome on vocation.

Wang conveyed to Conte the warm greetings from Chinese leaders, and thanked him for taking the phone call while on vacation. Wang noted that this is his first visit to Europe in capacity as the Chinese foreign minister since the global outbreak of COVID-19. By making Italy the first stop of the visit, China sends out a clear message of the importance it attaches to Italy.

Wang said that the two countries and peoples have supported each other in fighting COVID-19, setting a fine example of cooperation against the virus for the world, and the relationship between the two countries have been further advanced through their joint response to the disease. As facts have shown, solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon for the international community to defeat COVID-19 and the most effective prescription for restoring economic and social development going forward.

Wang noted that as good partners, China and Italy have fought shoulder to shoulder when COVID-19 strikes, and should seek common development more than ever after emerging from the test of the virus.

Wang said that he and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio reviewed the growth of China-Italy relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 50 years ago and made plans jointly for growing bilateral ties in the next 50 years. They agreed that to advance all-round growth of their bilateral relationship, the two sides need to make Belt and Road cooperation an important driving force, promote multilateralism as their shared vision, and advance inter-civilization dialogue and cooperation as their due responsibility.

Wang stated that China supports Italy in taking over the G20 presidency next year and stands ready to step up coordination and cooperation with Italy to uphold the UN-centered international system, strengthen cooperation in global governance, safeguard the multilateral trading regime and build an open world economy in a joint effort to contribute to world peace and development in the post-COVID-19 era. China attaches great importance to its relations with the EU, and would like to have communication and exchanges with the EU on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. China welcomes Italy's positive role in this regard.

Conte asked Wang to convey his sincere greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, and thanked China on behalf of the Italian government and people for its valuable support for Italy's fight against COVID-19.

Conte noted that the friendship between the two peoples has stood the test of time and become ever stronger, and that the signing of the MOU on Belt and Road cooperation has provided important opportunities for Italy's development. Italy hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in energy, industry, economy, trade and other fields, and make the economic ties and trade between the two sides more balanced.

Conte stated that Italy stands ready to play an important role in promoting the sound growth of EU-China relations and looks forward to the conclusion of EU-China investment agreement negotiations as scheduled and the signing of geographical indications agreement at an early date. Italy firmly supports multilateralism and stands for the settlement of problems and challenges in the world through multilateral forces rather than unilateral means.

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