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Friday, July 07, 2000, updated at 09:12(GMT+8)

Zhu Rongji Meets Italian PM

Zhu Rongji Meets Italian PM
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met Thursday with Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and they exchanged views on bilateral relations and international issues of common concern.

Amato told Zhu that the Italian-Chinese relations have been developing smoothly and the people of the two countries have all along cherished friendly feelings toward each other.

Italy highly values China's status as a big power and the positive role it plays in international affairs, Amato said, noting that the two countries hold identical or similar views on a series of major issues.

Amato reiterated that Italy will continue sticking to the one- China policy.

Zhu, who arrived here Wednesday on an official visit, gave a positive evaluation on bilateral ties.

He said Sino-Italian relations have been developing soundly since the establishment of diplomatic ties three decades ago and there are no difficult problems.

China and Italy share broad common interests on major issues concerning world peace and development and the two sides have had excellent cooperation in international affairs, especially in U.N. organizations, Zhu said.

He thanked the Italian government for sticking to the one-China policy and for its support for China's speedy accession into the World Trade Organization.

Zhu also expressed appreciation for Italy's championship of dialogue and objection to confrontation on the issue of human rights, where the two sides have differences.

On Sino-Italian economic and trade relations, Zhu said bilateral trade volume has shown a positive momentum of development over recent years. Italian investment in China has been increasing year by year and Italy has become China's second largest partner in scientific and technological cooperation in the European Union.

Zhu also praised the effective cooperation in agriculture, culture and the protection of historical relics between the two sides.

Amato expressed his agreement with Zhu's views, adding that Italy's small and medium-sized enterprises are highly developed and these enterprises have great interest in participating in Chinese economic construction.

The two sides should work together to promote to a new level their economic and trade cooperation, which has bright vistas, Amato said.

Zhu emphasized that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the relations with Italy and to Italy's important role in the European Union and in the world.

He said the Chinese government is willing to work together with the Italian side to move bilateral relations to a new high.

The two sides have agreed to further increase their exchanges and step up understanding, to strengthen consultations and cooperation in international affairs, including at the United Nations and other international organizations, Zhu said.

China and Italy have also agreed to broaden the channels for economic and trade cooperation and to promote interactions between the small and medium-sized enterprises of the two countries, the Chinese premier added.

Zhu's meeting with Amato was proceeded by a warm welcoming ceremony. The two prime ministers answered reporters' questions after their talks.

The Chinese premier also met with Fawzi Hemad Al-Sultan, president of the World Food Program, and Catherine Bertini, executive director of the International Fund for Agriculture Development.

Zhu expressed China's thanks to the World Food Program and the International Fund for Agriculture Development for the help they rendered China for the past 20 years. Zhu said the Chinese government will continue to support the two world institutions and is willing to explore new aspects of cooperation with them.

Bertini and Al-Sultan expressed their satisfaction over their projects in China. They said that China's outstanding performance in implementing cooperation projects with the two institutions has not only provided successful experience for other countries, but also enhanced the determination of international institutions in wiping out poverty in the world. They told Zhu that they will continue their cooperation with the Chinese government and contribute to the comprehensive development of China's agriculture and the wipe-out of poverty in China.

The Chinese premier also met with leaders of the Italy-China Association for Economic and Cultural Exchanges.

Zhu arrived here Wednesday on an official visit to Italy, the fifth leg of his current tour of six European nations and the headquarters of the European Union (EU).

Before Italy, the Chinese premier had visited Bulgaria, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. He is scheduled to wrap up his Italy tour Sunday and travel on to Brussels on an official visit to Belgium and the EU headquarters based there.

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Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met Thursday with Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and they exchanged views on bilateral relations and international issues of common concern.

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