Italian President Mattarella Speaks with China’s Media on China-Italy Partnership
March 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Chinese journalists, Italian President Sergio Mattarella spoke at length about the ancient bonds between Italy and China and the future perspective for cooperation. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, and this partnership is “built on solid foundations, inspired by natural convergences between two very ancient civilizations,” Mattarella was quoted by Xinhua.
He further underscored the “growing and fruitful interaction between our peoples, who are so similar in terms of industriousness and creativity.”
Both China and Italy recognize that
“uniting the efforts of the entire international community is needed to successfully face the main challenges of our time, from the safeguarding of peace and stability, fighting climate change, to enacting the agenda for inclusive and sustainable development,”
Xi’s visit is an expression of the “solidity of the bond and the mutual respect” between Italy and China, he said.
“Italy sees China not only as an economic partner of prime importance, but also as a driver of global trade,” Mattarella said, continuing that Italy has experience, advanced technology and solutions in various sectors, such as energy, environmental protection, sustainable urbanization, machinery manufacture, food security, health services and geriatric care.
After giving some lip service to transparency and openness, Mattarella said that on the cultural front, the heritage of both Italy and China “arouses admiration everywhere in the world” and this heritage could be a great development driver. He referred to the mechanism of forging twin relationships between the two countries’ World Heritage Sites.
The two sides, he said, will soon announce the pairing up of Italy’s Vineyard Landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato and China’s Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, as well as the establishment of sister-city relationship between Italy’s Verona and China’s Hangzhou.
As for people-to-people exchanges within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the President said that Italy not only participates in building the new Silk Road, but hopes to turn it into a path for better mutual understanding.
More Chinese tourists are coming to visit Italy, the two countries are hosting more of each other’s students, and joint research programs are increasing between the two countries’ universities, stated Mattarella.
Speaking of how the Italy-China partnership contributes to a better and more stable world, the President said that Italy is committed to safeguarding peace and rules-based multilateralism, and is pleased to see the two sides have consensus on that.
The Italian press agency ANSA reported that Mattarella expressed the wish that with the visit of President Xi, “agreements, ideas, projects can come out, in which the Italian-Chinese partnership could develop further, including for a larger benefit of the collaboration between Europe and Asia, which needs an ever bigger volume of sustainable investments in infrastructure, to ensure a future of well-being and peace for all peoples of the two continents.”