Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Friday for talks that focused on strengthening Chinese-Italian and Chinese-European ties.
Political dialogue has been active and the two countries have maintained close consultation and coordination in the United Nations and other multi-lateral institutions, Hu told Prodi at their meeting in Heiligendamm, a resort town on Germany's Baltic coast.
The Chinese president flew into Heiligendamm earlier for an outreach session with leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations.
Economic and trade cooperation between China and Italy has been growing rapidly and the festivities during the Year of Italy helped deepen the understanding and friendship between the two peoples, he said.
China stands ready to work with Italy to elevate the all-round strategic partnership between the two countries to a higher level, he said.
China and Italy should deepen political mutual trust and maintain coordination and cooperation in the United Nations and other multi-lateral institutions, the Chinese president said, adding the two nations need to expand economic and trade ties and work to ensure the growth of the bilateral trade in a balanced manner.
The Chinese president also proposed to encourage mutual investment and promote cooperation in cultural relics preservation, environment protection and clean energy, among other areas. A Chinese cultural festival is scheduled to be launched in Italy at a later time, he said.
Prodi, for his part, agreed with Hu on his proposals on forging closer ties and said a solid foundation has been established in Italian-Chinese ties and that Italy hopes to see mutual investment boosted and economic and trade cooperation expanded.
The Italian leader praised the role China has played in international and regional affairs, saying Italy and China share the same or similar views on many major international issues.
Italy is ready to enhance coordination and cooperation with China in the United Nations and on international and regional issues, Prodi said.
President Hu said developing ties with the European Union (EU) is an important element in China's foreign policy and economic and trade relations with the EU are growing fast, with the EU remaining the biggest trading partner for China.
The Chinese president expressed hope that Italy will use its influence in the EU to boost Chinese-European ties. Prodi pledged Italy's efforts in this regard.