Chinese vice president arrives in Rome for official visit

09:20, June 02, 2011      

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L front) is welcomed by Italian Economy and Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti at the airport in Rome, capital of Italy, June 1, 2011. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Rome Wednesday for an official visit to Italy in a fresh boost to the development of bilateral ties.

In a written statement delivered at the airport upon his arrival, Xi said that China and Italy are nations with ancient civilizations and long-standing friendly exchanges.

"In recent years, the China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership has scored new progress with tangible results in political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural, environmental areas," he said, adding that the two countries have also carried out close communications and cooperation on major global and regional issues.

Noting that the growth of bilateral ties face new opportunities, he said that he expects to join the Italian leadership and public in exploring ways to uplift bilateral ties to higher levels.

As a guest of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Xi will be among more than 80 state leaders from around the world attending the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

During his four-day stay, Xi is also scheduled to meet with Napolitano and hold talks with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He will also visit Milan.

China and Italy established diplomatic ties in 1970. China is now Italy's 10th largest trading partner, while Italy is China's fourth biggest in the European Union. Bilateral trade hit 45.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, marking a year-on-year rise of 44.5 percent.

Italy is the first leg of Xi's four-nation tour, which will also take him to Cuba, Uruguay and Chile.

Source: Xinhua
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