BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that China and Italy should jointly ensure the China-Italy Year of Culture and Tourism slated for 2022 a success, and take the event as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation in winter sports and related industries.
In a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Xi said the two sides should particularly firmly support each other in successfully hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Milan-Cortina Winter Games in 2026.
Xi said China-Italy relations enjoy a deep historical foundation, adding that the two countries enjoy mutually beneficial cooperation, appreciate each other's culture and help each other in times of difficulty.
China stands ready to work together with the Italian side to maintain the correct direction of the development of China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era, respect each other firmly, safeguard China-Italy friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and set an example for developing relationship between countries of different systems and cultures, Xi said.
The two sides should promote cooperation in various fields to go deeper and more solid under the guidance of jointly building the Belt and Road, Xi said, voicing the hope that the Italian side can play an active role in promoting the healthy and steady development of China-Europe relations.
Xi stressed that China appreciates Italy's efforts to promote cooperation in global public health and economy since Rome assumed the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 (G20).
At present, the world is at a critical stage in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring the economy, Xi said, adding that the G20, a major international economic cooperation platform, should stick to the genuine multilateralism, carry forward the spirit of unity and cooperation, and gather more consensus on fighting COVID-19, restoring the world economy and promoting inclusive and sustainable development.
Xi also said that the G20 should lead global governance in the correct direction, and join forces to meet common challenges, adding that the Chinese side will continue to support Italy in fully playing its role in this regard and hosting a successful G20 summit in Rome.
For his part, Draghi said Italy-China relations have maintained sound development, and Italy attaches great importance to Italy-China comprehensive strategic partnership.
Italy hopes to enhance bilateral cooperation with China in various fields and make joint efforts with China to ensure the success of Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism, he said.
Draghi said Italy thanks China's support for its G20 presidency and appreciates China's positive efforts and contributions to combating global climate change.
Italy highly values China's important role in the issue of Afghanistan and hopes to enhance communication and cooperation with China under multilateral frameworks including the G20, he added. Enditem