Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday, calling for a boost to ties between the two countries.
During the talks, Hu said Chinese-Italian relations have witnessed healthy and stable expansion over the past 39 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano prior to their talks in Rome, capital of Italy, July 6, 2009. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)
In 2004, the two countries agreed to establish an all-around strategic partnership, unveiling a new page for Chinese-Italian friendly cooperation, Hu said.
As next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the forging of bilateral diplomatic relations, China is willing to join hands with Italy to lift bilateral ties to a higher level, Hu said.
According to a press release issued by the Chinese delegation, Napolitano agreed with Hu, saying cooperation between Italy and China has seen smooth expansion in a wide range of fields.
Napolitano said Italy is willing to further increase its economic cooperation and trade with China, exert every effort to host the "Chinese Culture Year" in Italy and push forward the development of bilateral ties at large.
In order to boost the ties, the Chinese president offered a five-point proposal, according to the press release.
Firstly, Hu said the two countries should increase communications, exchanges and mutual visits between high-level leaders.
Hu proposed that both sides host various events to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, adding that much attention should be attached to the "Chinese Culture Year" next year in Italy.
Secondly, Hu said the two sides should enhance political mutual trust and understand each other's major concerns.
The Taiwan and Tibet issues are the key concerns of the Chinese side, Hu said, urging Italy to understand China's concerns and offer support.
Hu also said he believed Italy would continue to exert its influence within the European Union to boost the EU-China ties at large.
Thirdly, Hu urged both sides to expand substantial cooperation on various fields such as trade, investment, science and technology, environment protection, medicine and tourism.
Fourthly, the Chinese president said both sides should increase people-to-people communications and cultural exchanges in order to boost their bilateral friendship.
Finally, Hu urged both sides to conduct more cooperation and communications in international organizations and on multi-national occasions.
Hu said both countries could enhance dialogue and coordination on various major international issues such as the global financial crisis, reform of the UN Security Council, climate change, environment protection and sustainable development.
Napolitano, on his part, praised China for its important role in the international arena as well as in addressing major global challenges.
He said he appreciates China's role in the G20 summit, the G8 + 5 summit and active participation in UN peacekeeping actions.
He also said the Italian side spoke highly of the measures China has taken to tackle the global financial crisis and economic downturn. He noted that China's participation is a must for the international community in its move to tackle the crisis, reform the international financial system and realize sustainable development.
On the EU-China relations, Napolitano said Italy would continue to play an active role in boosting the ties.
The president also reiterated Italy's adherence to the one-China policy.
According to the press release, Hu also briefed his Italian counterpart on the latest social and economic developments in China.
The two leaders held the talks at the Quirinal Palace, and Napolitano hosted a grand welcoming ceremony in honor of Hu prior to the talks.
Hu arrived in Rome earlier on Sunday for a state visit at the invitation of Napolitano.
Hu was also to attend the summit of the Group of Eight and major developing countries later this week in the central Italian city of L'Aquila.
This is the sixth time that the Chinese president has attended the G8 outreach session. The previous one took place in the northern Japanese resort of Toyako last July.
The G8, an informal forum of leading industrialized nations, includes Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, the United States, Canada and Russia.