Chinese vice president's Italy tour to deepen bilateral ties: ambassador

09:18, June 02, 2011      

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The upcoming visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to Italy will enhance high-level exchanges and promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between the countries, Chinese Ambassador Ding Wei said in a recent interview.

Xi is to pay a visit to Italy and attend the 150th anniversary celebration of Italian unification on June 1-4.

Ding said Sino-Italian relationship has reached a crucial stage in its continued development. Xi's visit is of great importance in fostering and deepening bilateral ties.

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and Italy, a member of the Group of Eight, both have played an important role in world affairs and have trusted, respected and coordinated with each other in political and diplomatic affairs, Ding said.

As more than 80 heads of state will come to Italy to mark the 150th anniversary of its unification, this will offer China a unique opportunity for high-level exchanges between China and other countries, the ambassador said, adding that Xi's visit will also help strengthen exchanges with other countries.

Ding highlighted the rapid development of bilateral trade cooperation between China and Italy. In 2010, the year that marked the 40th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic ties, bilateral trade surged to 45.15 billion U.S. dollars, exceeding the goal set by the two prime ministers in 2004 of 40 billion U.S. dollars.

By 2015, bilateral trade is expected to reach 80 billion dollars. Given the current momentum in trade growth, both sides are confident of achieving this goal, Ding said.

In addition, China and Italy also sustain close cooperation in culture, technology and education. As bilateral cooperation in various fields is proceeding smoothly, China is confident about the prospect of Sino-Italian relations, the ambassador said.

He noted that people-to-people exchange is a crucial part of China-Italy relations, since mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples serve as the foundation of bilateral ties, Ding said, citing the example of the ongoing Chinese Culture Year in Italy.

Since its opening last October, the Chinese Culture Year in Italy featuring a wide array of events has attracted millions of Italians.

In late May, a "Tibetan Culture Week" was launched in Rome, bringing the snowy plateaus and fascinating folk traditions closer to the Italian public. The event was followed by two other culture weeks introducing Shanghai and east Chinese province of Anhui.

A series of other cultural events will be held to mark Xi's upcoming visit, including a Chinese and Italian writers' seminar, a "Women's Week" hosted by China's Women Federation, and a stunning art show "My Dream" given by China's Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe.

Source: Xinhua
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