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President Hu Jintao Meets with Italian Prime Minister Prodi

On June 8, 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao met in Heiligendamm, Germany with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, exchanging views on strengthening Chinese-Italian and Chinese-European ties.

Hailing new progress made in bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all areas, Hu said political dialogue has been active and the two countries have maintained close consultation and coordination in the United Nations and other multi-lateral institutions. Economic and trade cooperation between China and Italy has been growing rapidly, the mechanism of China-Italy government committee has been further improved and the festivities during the Year of Italy helped deepen the understanding and friendship between the two peoples, he said. China stands ready to work with Italy to elevate the all-round strategic partnership between the two countries to a higher level, he said.

China and Italy should deepen political mutual trust and maintain coordination and cooperation in the United Nations and other multi-lateral institutions, the Chinese president said. He urged both sides to give full play to the planning and coordinating role of the China-Italy government committee to make it an effective mechanism and strive to ensure the success of the third joint meeting of the committee to be held in the second half of this year. The two nations need to expand economic and trade ties and work to ensure the growth of the bilateral trade in a balanced manner. The Chinese president also proposed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on small and medium sized enterprises, logistics and ports, encourage mutual investment and promote cooperation in cultural relics preservation, environment protection, clean energy, culture and education, among other areas. A Chinese cultural festival is scheduled to be launched in Italy at a later time, he said.

Prodi, for his part, agreed with Hu on his proposals on forging closer ties and said a solid foundation has been established in Italian-Chinese ties and that both sides have conduced sound exchanges in political, economic and other areas with a range of cooperation projects well under way. Italy hopes to see mutual investment boosted and economic and trade cooperation expanded, he said, adding that he also hoped the Chinese cultural festival in Italy will help build friendship between the two peoples.

The Italian leader praised the role China has played in international and regional affairs, saying Italy and China share the same or similar views on many major international issues. Italy is ready to enhance coordination and cooperation with China in the United Nations and on international and regional issues, Prodi said.

President Hu said developing ties with the European Union (EU) is an important element in China's foreign policy and China-EU ties are developing very well on the whole. The steering committee for the China-EU partnership agreement has convened its first meeting. Economic and trade relations with the EU are growing fast, with the EU remaining the biggest trading partner for China. The Chinese president said China attaches importance to Italy's important role in the EU, expressing hope that Italy will use its influence in the EU to boost Chinese-European ties.

Prodi pledged Italy's efforts to develop EU-China ties.

State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan attended the meeting.

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