CRI在线收听:Xi: Silk road an ancient bond for China, Italy

Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a six-day visit, expressed Italy's interest in playing a role in the China-proposed "Belt and Road" initiative during the talks.

Speaking to reporters after their meeting, the Chinese president said the two countries should be working to maintain high-level exchanges at various levels, including those between the two governments, as well as through their respective legislatures and among the political parties in both China and Italy.

"The 'Belt and Road' Summit Forum is set to be held this May in Beijing and will provide a platform for all countries involved in the initiative to discuss how to better cooperate. China plays an important role in promoting Asian culture, as does Italy in promoting the Western culture. The ancient Silk Road serves as the traditional link between the two countries. Italy has its advantages if it participates in the 'Belt and Road' initiative, and China looks forward to seeing more cooperation with Italy under the program," said Xi.

Xi also told his Italian counterpart that China stands ready to play a leading role in the advancement of world peace, development and stability.

Sergio Mattarella said he believes Italy has a role to play in the "Belt and Road" initiative.

"We are very interested in the 'Belt and Road' initiative, and I believe Italy's logistics system will make sure that China's goods can be sent to Europe efficiently. In addition, the ports system of Italy can also help link China with central Europe and Middle East," said Mattarella.

Mattarella also said that Italy is committed to maintaining a multilateral trading system and hopes to increase coordination with China in both international and regional affairs.

After the talks, a series of cooperation documents were signed covering areas including culture, education, health and trade.

Mattarella's visit to China will also take him to Shanghai, Chongqing and Xi'an, which is the terminus of the ancient Silk Road.