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Italian president backs Belt and Road Initiative

By He Wei in Shanghai | | Updated: 2017-02-24 18:54

Italy firmly supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative and will become a close partner of Beijing on global governance, visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in Shanghai on Friday.

In a speech at Fudan University, Mattarella said the initiative presents a huge opportunity that many countries will benefit from.

“Italy will actively respond to China’s initiative and be part of this plan. The two countries can join hands to write a new chapter in history," he said.

Mattarella endorsed President Xi Jinping’s remarks on the importance of globalization during the Davos Forum in January, stressing that a globalized, integrated and open market is fundamental to economic recovery and more balanced growth across nations.

He also harshly criticized trade wars, saying they are not a problem-solver but could only result in more people suffering. Likewise, nations need concerted efforts to tackle global issues from immigration to climate change.

"We need a multilateral world. China and the European Union should further enhance mutual understanding through economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges," he said.

Sergio Mattarella is currently on a six-day visit to China that began from Tuesday.

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