Xi and Conte Confirm that Italy-China Cooperation Will Be a Model for Europe
April 27, 2019 (EIRNS)— China’s President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing today. “China will further work with Italy in jointly building the Belt and Road and expand cooperation in trade, investment, technology, and cultural exchanges. Chinese President Xi Jinping made the remarks on Saturday when meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte,” Xinhua reported.
“Xi said he appreciates that Italy has taken the lead among Western countries in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China on cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“Xi also called for greater efforts to make China-Italy cooperation a model of China-Europe cooperation under the BRI.
“Conte expressed willingness to promote multilateralism and strengthen cooperation with China, stressing that the country has a firm resolution in jointly building the Belt and Road.
“More and more countries will take an active part in the BRI which is beneficial to people around the world, he added.
“The prime minister said he welcomed Chinese enterprises to invest in Italy, adding that the country’s business policies will be fair and non-discriminatory.
“He also congratulated China’s success in holding the forum.”
Conte posted the following statement on his Facebook page:
“The ‘Silk Road’ is a historic opportunity to open new markets for our companies, building deep trade relations that can produce major investment opportunities. Not only goods and services will travel on this Road; indeed, it will be a ‘Silk Road of Knowledge,’ with the aim of promoting development and prosperity for all our peoples thanks to infrastructural, physical and above all human connectivity.
“Thanks to Italian contributions, in a framework of fruitful collaboration with China and all involved countries, the Belt and Road Initiative will proceed under the banner of protecting human rights, sustainable development, safety and protection of intellectual property. This is a major result and we are proud of having concluded the BRI project as active players, adopting principles and values outlined with clarity in the European Union Strategy on Eurasian Connectivity.
“A Chinese saying is: ‘Use your torch to make light for others’. This is the philosophy which we have followed so far and will inspire our future path in the Belt and Road Initiative.”
Responding to questions from Italian journalists yesterday, Conte refused to comment on the fact that German Economic Minister Peter Altmaier who, in Beijing listed “all major European countries” but neglected to include Italy. However, he said that Italy does not need the EU “hat,” as the MOU with China provides a much better “hat” than the one offered by EU policy papers. We are leading in Europe, Conte said.