Italy, China share key common goals on world stage: FM

08:37, July 14, 2011      

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Italy and China share common political and economic goals on the world stage and are constantly investing in boosting their strategic cooperations, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told Chinese media here on Wednesday ahead of his visit to China.

"Our two countries have a strong affinity and historical friendship: both Italy and China represent millenary cultures which stand as a universal symbol. But it's also on the contemporary stage that we share common interests, both political and economic," stressed Frattini.

On the political side, he said that Italy and China had common interests in maintaining regional stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa, North Africa and in the Mediterranean, while economically they aim to further boost their commercial exchange from the current value of 45 billion dollars to the target of 100 billion dollars by 2015 as set forth by their respective governments.

Europe is another key sector which links the two nations, Frattini pointed out.

"We believe we can play a central role of liaison in drawing China closer to the EU thanks to our deep knowledge and understanding of China, which other European countries lack," he explained.

Frattini hailed the ongoing Chinese Culture Year celebrations in Italy as a unique opportunity to increase cultural and artistic ties.

"Italy and China are two cultural powers, we must showcase our heritage and this event sends a strong message to the entire world," he said.

Yet to Frattini the celebration is not only a question of sponsoring the culture of the past, but also that of the present and future. "Take industrial design, one of Italy's leading excellences of contemporary culture for example, I believe a lot can be achieved here in terms of cooperation. Italy's beautiful art can blend with China's industrial technique," he added.

Frattini also briefed on the tight agenda for his visit to China on July 18-21, which will take him to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The minister announced he will be presiding over a joint meeting of the Italy-China Governmental Committee with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and make a speech at the Chinese Communist Party School, on Italian and European foreign policy issues and bilateral relationships.

Bilateral talks will also focus on global financial stability and ways to boost cooperation in strengthening world markets, according to Frattini.

Frattini said he will also visit the Italian pavilion at the former Shanghai expo site, describing it as a "symbol of Italian excellence which will stay in place".

Source: Xinhua
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