on the 9a Meeting of the China-Italy Joint Government Committee
( Rome, 25 January 2019)
1. At the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Yi, made an official visit to Italy from 25 to 26 January 2019. The two Ministers jointly opened the Plenary Session of the Italy-China Government Committee.
Global Strategic Partnership
2. During the official visit, the two Ministers engaged in an in-depth debate on bilateral relations, EU-China relations, as well as on other regional and international issues of common interest. The two Ministers expressed great satisfaction over the excellent performance of the Global Strategic Partnership. They reaffirmed their will to develop it further in order to achieve the goals set by the “China-Italy Action Plan for Strengthening Cooperation in Economy, Trade, Culture and Science and Technology 2017-2020”. They underscored how this new phase in intergovernmental cooperation has been positively stimulated by the intense agenda of institutional visits already made by Italian and Chinese officials.
3. The two Ministers acknowledged with satisfaction the positive performance of bilateral relations, also ahead of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Italy-China diplomatic relations (“Road-to-Fifty”) in 2020. In October 2018, the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, and the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, met in Brussels on the sidelines of the 12th ASEM Summit. The two Ministers expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the meeting between the two Prime Ministers, recalling that the 2017-2020 Action Plan sets forth a mechanism providing for an annual meeting at Head of Government level. They manifested the intention to follow up the talks between the two Prime Ministers in order to further heighten the level of the constructive bilateral cooperation. The two Ministers expressed special appreciation for the outcome of the missions carried out in China in the second semester of 2018 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Social Policies, Di Maio, and by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Tria.
The two Ministers expressed the will to continue keeping the rhythm of top-level meetings high. In this respect, the two Parties confirmed great expectations for the upcoming State Visit to Italy by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.
Regional and Global Issues
4. The two Ministers confirmed the intention to intensify and expand the Global Strategic Partnership with the aim of contributing to reinforce peace, security, international stability and sustainable development, in full compliance with the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The two Ministers reaffirmed the will to promote multilateralism and the rules-based international system, with the United Nations at the centre. The two Ministers agreed on the advisability of promoting international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and shared benefits, with a view to boosting global solidarity.
5. The two Ministers emphasised the two Parties’ will to strengthen their coordination on multilateral issues, intensifying their collaboration within the United Nations, the G20, the ASEM, and the WTO, and have a closer exchange of opinions on important international issues, especially global governance, the multilateral trading system, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, climate change and the “Paris Agreement”. The two Parties agreed on the importance of reforming the United Nations Security Council with a view to reinforcing its authority and effectiveness, and committed to continue the profitable and effective dialogue on the theme, with the goal of favouring the definition of a comprehensive reform model capable of obtaining the broadest possible consent among UN member States.
6. The two Ministers exchanged opinions on several regional and global issues of common interest, such as the situation in the Korean Peninsula, in Syria and the reconciliation process in Libya. The two Ministers also discussed the possibility of carrying out joint cooperation efforts.
7. The two Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their support for the development of comprehensive China-EU relations aimed at strengthening the Global Strategic Partnership based on principles of mutual respect, trust, equality and advantage, within the implementation of the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. The two Ministers confirmed that they consider a top priority pushing forward ongoing negotiations for an ambitious EU-China agreement aimed at creating an open, equitable and transparent environment for their respective investment flows. The two Ministers also confirmed their support for the negotiation of the cooperation and safeguard agreement on geographical designations.
They also agreed to foster any dialogue already underway between the European Union and China in every sector, including human rights, on the basis of principles of equality and mutual respect.
8. The two Ministers reaffirmed their interest in promoting joint cooperation efforts within the framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). They emphasised their common determination to implement the recently signed “Memorandum of Understanding on Developing Third-Market Cooperation”. They also expressed the will to enhance the synergies between the BRI and the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and with Italian infrastructure, in the perspective of enhancing cooperation in the sector of ports, logistics and maritime transport.
In this respect, the two Ministers recalled the Euro-Asia Connectivity Strategy adopted by the EU on 15 October 2018, and the discussion under way within the EU-China Connectivity Platform. The two Ministers reaffirmed their will to leverage their common membership of the AIIB to favour joint projects to promote China-European connectivity through an inclusive, open and sustainable approach. The two Ministers emphasised their will to strengthen their cooperation and coordination within the ASEM, in order to give new impulse towards improving the connectivity between Europe and Asia, also on the basis of the report of the ad hoc working group. The two Ministers expressed their will to boost airline connections between the two Countries and to facilitate the activities of their respective airlines, thus favouring access to their respective markets.
Trade and Investments
9. The two Ministers reaffirmed their commitment towards an open world economy and against protectionism and unilateralism, with a view to achieving globalisation in a way that might be inclusive, sustainable, equitable and advantageous for all. The two Ministers reasserted their support for a transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory, rule-based multilateral trade system with the WTO at its centre.
The two Parties support the necessary reform of the WTO, with the aim of reinforcing its role.
They reasserted the positive role played by the Mixed Committee (which held its 13th meeting in Beijing on 17 December 2018) in the context of bilateral and multilateral relations, and the goal of promoting a sound and balanced growth in the exchange of goods and services and in the flow of investments, promoting fair competition between companies and effective mutual benefits, also through the effective protection of intellectual property rights and by enhancing the fight against counterfeiting, including in the area of e-commerce and import and export.
The two Ministers agreed on the need for broader and easier access to their respective markets and, in this respect, deem it necessary to gradually eliminate non-tariff barriers that create unjustified obstacles to trade, and cooperate to achieve the reciprocal harmonization of technical standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
10. The two Ministers highlighted how the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Developing Third-Market Cooperation will provide support to the two Countries’ companies interested in working together in Third Countries. The two Ministers also agreed on the opportunity to encourage financial institutions to explore the availability of funds for third-market cooperation efforts between Italian and Chinese companies, for infrastructure and to finance trade in both Countries.
The two Ministers emphasised the importance of the Italy-China Forum for small and medium-sized enterprises held in Dalian and Qingdao on 19-21 June 2018 and favourably greeted the fifth edition of the Business Forum held in Shanghai on 6 November 2018, on the fringes of the China International Import Expo (CIIE).
The two Ministers expressed their support for the activities of the China Task Force at the MiSE.
In order to strengthen economic cooperation and mutual investments between the two Countries, it is desirable to finalize the negotiation of bilateral agreements to avoid double taxation and combat tax evasion and to recognise the respective driving licenses.
The two Parties acknowledged the role of the CCPIT, of ICE, and of other trade promotion agencies as well as that of the Chambers of Commerce, in promoting bilateral commercial cooperation, and also reaffirmed their support for entrepreneurial associations with the aim of further expanding cooperation in trade as well as in promoting investments, shows/trade fairs and commercial law.
11. The two Ministers agreed on the advisability of strengthening coordination, dialogue and cooperation between economic and financial institutions through the “Dialogue Mechanism” established between the Finance Ministry of the People’s Republic of China and the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. They also advocate the creation of partnerships between their respective financial institutions in order to promote the development of trade and investments.
12. In line with the bilateral Action Plan 2017-2020, the two Ministers confirmed giving priority to the following areas of cooperation: a) the environment and sustainable energy; b) agriculture; c) sustainable urban development; d) healthcare; e) aviation; f) space technologies and related applications; g) infrastructure and transport.
13. Environmental Protection, Combating Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The two Ministers favourably acknowledged the latest developments in their cooperation on issues arising from the implementation of the Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Agreement signed by the Environment Ministers in June 2017. They reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen their cooperation in implementing the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda and to promote increasingly advanced energy efficiency objectives and the progressive transition towards the so-called circular economy.
14. Agriculture and Food Security. The two Ministers favourably acknowledged the increase in personnel and information exchanges in the agricultural sector. They expressed the wish to intensify cooperation in sectors such as: revitalizing rural development, agricultural technology and the health of animals. The two Ministers agreed on the need to give impulse to the cooperation between the two Countries’ scientific research institutes in the agricultural sector, also in the prospect of supporting Italian and Chinese enterprises.
The two Ministers agreed on the need to give impulse to ongoing negotiations on agri-food dossiers and to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of food security and animal health, also within the competent United Nations Agencies, so as to support high-level sanitary, veterinary and phytosanitary standards in their respective Countries and consequently in the international trade of food products.
15. Health. The two Ministers stressed the importance of continuously enhancing the exchange of experiences and cooperation, including in the sector of Chinese traditional medicine, within the framework of the 2017-2019 Implementation Programme of the Plan of Action on Health Cooperation between the National Health and Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Health of the Italian Republic.
16. Space sector. The two Ministers emphasised the strategic value of space cooperation between Italy and China. They expressed satisfaction over the significant progress made in this sector and, in connection to this, recalled the launch of the China Seismo Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) Chinese satellite on 2 February 2018, which carried an Italian particle detector developed for the “Li Madou” project, and which was even welcomed in an exchange of messages between the Heads of State of the two Countries. The two Ministers manifested the intention to further promote cooperation, especially in the sector of space science, deep space exploration and human space missions, within the scope of the Framework Agreement signed by the two Space Agencies in February 2011. The two Ministers encouraged continuing cooperation also on the CSES-2, which is scheduled to be launched in 2021, and hoped for the full implementation of the agreement signed between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the China Manned Space Agency in February 2017. In particular, the two Ministers favourably acknowledged the activities underway to increase Italy’s participation in the Chinese space station through the production of habitable modules and the performance of the relative scientific experiments as a trade-off for China conceding a flight opportunity for Italian astronauts and scientific experiments.
17. Technological innovation. The two Ministers expressed satisfaction for the progress made in the “Joint Strategic Plan in the Sectors of Science, Technology and Innovation towards 2020”, and manifested the will to strengthen dialogue on innovation policies, enhance cooperation in large research infrastructure, and increase exchanges and cooperation between the two Countries’ scientific personnel. The two Foreign Ministers acknowledged the positive role of the Italy-China Science, Technology and Innovation Week in leveraging resources for innovation from the two Countries, also acting as a factor of industrial competitiveness at international level.
18. Human resources and social security. The two Ministers agreed to continue negotiations to finalize the Internship Agreement. The two Ministers also agreed to continue dialogue on the possibility of signing a bilateral agreement on social security.
19. Culture. The two Ministers stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in the area of stagecraft, visual arts, the protection of cultural heritage, museums, combating the illicit trafficking and smuggling of cultural property, creative design, radio and television broadcasting, publishing and the press. They highlighted the important role played by the Italy-China Cultural Forum as a platform of dialogue and cooperation and expressed the hope to increase its operations, also through the twinning of Italian and Chinese UNESCO sites.
20. Education. The two Ministers agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation in the field of education and academic exchanges and expressed the hope that the cycle of consultations over the new Executive Three-Year Education Plan may come to a positive outcome as quickly as possible. The two Parties stressed the importance of fostering the dissemination of their respective languages and cultures, also in their respective school systems and, while expressing the wish to increase the number of students, promote and support boosting exchanges and mobility programmes and cooperation between the Higher Education Institutions of the two Countries.
21. Tourism. Taking note of the increasing tourist flows between Italy and China, the two Ministers expressed satisfaction over the signing of the “Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Strategic Cooperation in Tourism” in Venice in January 2018, at the Opening Ceremony of the EU-China Year of Tourism. They stressed the relevance that exchanges and cooperation in the tourism sector can have in improving mutual knowledge and friendship between the two populations.
22. Security and Justice. The two Ministers expressed satisfaction for the positive progress made in bilateral cooperation in the sector of security, especially mentioning the Annual Consultation Operating Mechanism established between the Public Security Department of the Italian Interior Ministry and the International Cooperation Department of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, as well as in joint patrolling activities, and agreed on further strengthening it, with a special focus on combating transnational organized crime and irregular immigration, the recovery of smuggled goods, fighting terrorism, combating cyber-fraud and human trafficking, and protecting intellectual property rights. The two Foreign Ministers favourably acknowledged the progress made in cooperating in the justice sector and agreed to further strengthen it, with special reference to the theme of extradition, legal aid in civil, commercial and criminal cases and fighting corruption.
23. Sports. The two Ministers support bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the sports sector, encourage direct contacts between the two Countries’ sports organizations at all levels, as well as strengthening dialogue and the coordination of international sports events, in order to contribute to promoting cooperation in sports and friendly relations between Italy and China.
24. The two Ministers confirmed the central role of the Italy-China Government Committee as the promotion and coordination mechanism for the whole range of Italy-China cooperation activities.
They committed to maintain frequent contacts and agreed that the 10th Plenary Session of the Government Committee shall be hosted by the People’s Republic of China in 2020.
Adopted in Rome on 25 January 2019, in Italian and Chinese, both languages having equal value.