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China, Malta pledge to consolidate friendship, enhance co-op
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08:22, February 23, 2009

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Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi on Sunday pledged their countries' efforts to consolidate friendly relations and further enhance bilateral cooperation.

During a meeting with Gonzi, Xi said China attaches great importance to the Sino-Maltese relations and his visit was aimed at consolidating the traditional friendship and promoting cooperation in various fields between the two countries.

He said China is willing to work together with Malta for new achievements in bilateral cooperation and counter the challenges brought about by the global financial crisis with concrete actions.

Xi raised a four-point proposal on deepening cooperation between the two countries.

Firstly, the two countries should deepen traditional friendly relations, enhance exchanges between governments, parliaments and parties, promote understanding and mutual trust through continued exchanges and consultations in various levels.

Xi said the second is tapping the potential for economic and trade cooperation. The two countries should continue to explore new areas of cooperation and elevate the level of mutually beneficial cooperation.

China welcomes Malta to participate in the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, which will be an important platform for bilateral cooperation, he said.

Thirdly, the two countries should expand exchanges in the fields of culture, education, health care and tourism.

Fourthly, he expressed the hope that Malta will continue to play an active role in promoting the sound and stable development of relations between China and the European Union.

Gonzi said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and especially in recent years, the two countries have made remarkable achievements in cooperation in politics, economy, culture and education.

He said the agreement on investment protection to be signed between Malta and China indicates a new momentum in the development of bilateral relations.

The Maltese prime minister also said the ongoing financial crisis has brought challenges to all the countries and strengthening cooperation between Malta and China will be more important than ever before.

He also said Malta welcomes more Chinese enterprises, tourists and students to come to the country.

Malta attaches great importance to the EU-China relations and is willing to play a constructive role in this regard, he said.

He said the Maltese government unswervingly adheres to the one-China policy.

After the meeting, the two leaders attended a signing ceremony for documents on cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and justice.

Xi arrived here Saturday for an official visit to the Mediterranean island country on the last leg of his six-nation tour. He has visited Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.



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