President Xi Jinping to visit Italy, Monaco, France
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to Italy, Monaco and France from March 21 to 26 at the invitation of Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Head of State of the Principality of Monaco Albert II and French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang confirmed on Monday. They will be President Xi's first state visits in 2019.
At the ministry's regular press conference on Monday, another spokesperson Geng Shuang revealed more details on the European trip.
Geng said that in Italy, Xi will meet Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, president of the Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati and president of Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini separately.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Italy, said Geng, adding that leaders of the two countries are expected to exchange views on the development of China-Italy relations and China-EU relations.
Geng stressed that China is willing to consolidate political trust, enhance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and push bilateral relations and ties with the EU for steady and in-depth development.
The spokesperson said Xi will become the first Chinese leader to visit Monaco, the second stop of his visit.
Geng signaled that the two sides will take the opportunity to further consolidate political trust, expand pragmatic cooperation in various areas and continue to develop China-Monaco relations.
During his visit in France, Xi is expected to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, president of the Senate Gérard Larcher and president of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand.
As stated by Geng, France was the first major Western country to enter into diplomatic relations and establish a full partnership with China.
China-France relations have provided the world a model of friendship, said Geng, adding that the two countries will exchange views and enhance cooperation on multilateralism, global governance and climate change.
Geng pointed out that the visit to France is the first made by a Chinese leader in the past five years. China hopes to seize the opportunity of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations to promote high-level exchanges between the two sides, consolidate political trust and deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership.
On Wednesday, China's Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao will hold a briefing to introduce more details on Xi's visit, said Geng at the end of the press conference