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China, Italy to establish strategic partnership
Updated: 2004-05-09 13:27

The governments of China and Italy agreed on Friday to further deepen bilateral ties by establishing stable, friendly, long-term and sustainable strategic partnership.

The joint communique, issued following talks between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi, called for bilateral and multilateral joint efforts to safeguard world peace and security.

The two heads of government also agreed to set up a China-Italy governmental committee in order to upgrade bilateral cooperation levels in various areas.

"It is the first time for China and Italy to issue such a communiqu since the two countries established diplomatic ties 34 years ago. And it is also the first time for China to set up such a high-level coordination body with a foreign government," the Chinese premier told reporters following his talks with Berlusconi.

As China and Italy are both countries with ancient civilization, the two leaders also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in culture, film and television, Wen said, adding that his current visit to Italy was "successful."

Berlusconi told the press that he and Wen discussed way to deepen the bilateral ties and international issues of mutual concern and have found some solutions.

Before the talks, the Italian prime minister held a welcoming ceremony by inviting Wen to review the honor of guards. Berlusconi also hosted an evening banquet in Wen's honor.

The two countries also signed several cooperation agreements during Wen's visit.

"China and Italy, both shouldering important responsibilities in international and regional affairs, should further contribute to consolidating Sino-European ties," said the joint communique issued following their talks.

The Chinese premier, who is paying an official visit to Italy from May 6 to May 9, attended the Seminar on Promoting Investment between China and Italy on Friday morning. Wen also met with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and speakers of the Chamberof Deputies and Senate in the same day.

"The two governments reaffirmed the important significance of enhancing high-level political contacts, and strengthening close dialogue and consultation in anti-terror, preventing proliferation and protecting human rights as well as the cooperation among international organizations," the joint communique said.

They agree to cooperate on the UN Security Council reform, saying that any plan must be approved by the majority of the member countries and conforms to the interests of the whole international community. " The Security Council's authority and role must be maintained," said joint declaration.

The Chinese side is looking forward to Italian President Ciampi's state visit to China, scheduled for June. The two sides will exert more efforts to push forward contacts and exchanges and enhance mutual understanding.

On the Taiwan issue, the Italian government reaffirmed its firm adherence to One China policy, and opposed to any steps aimed at changing Taiwan's status and increasing tension across the Taiwan Strait, and China expressed its appreciation for such a stand, said the joint declaration.

The communique said both economies are highly complementary and have great development potentials, which can bring benefits to both sides.

"The two governments will strengthen the coordination, service and other functions in such areas, within the framework of fully respecting the World Trade Organization principles, and create more favorable conditions for further development, with promoting the two-way investment as its priority," said the joint communiqu.

The Chinese premier also visited Italy's major airspace company Alespazio on Friday. Alenia Spazio is the major Italian space company. Its capabilities and experience make it one of the leaders in Europe and it has contributed to the construction of around 200 satellites.

The two countries hope to promote cooperation in the fields of culture, science and technology, education, environment, tourism, public heath, jurisdiction and information.

The Chinese premier arrived in Rome Thursday for an official visit as part of an 11-day European tour. Italy is the third leg of his five-nation tour which has taken him to Germany, Belgium and the European Union headquarters. He will visit Britain and Ireland.

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