China and Italy have joined hands in pushing forward Cooperation on the Belt & Road Initiative and achieved encouraging outcomes in spite of the COVID-19 Pandemic shock, said Mario Boselli, Chairman of the Italy-China Foundation in a recent interview.

In March 2019, Italy became the first Western country in the Group of Seven (G7) to sign a memorandum of understanding on the Belt & Road Initiative, marking a new stage of all-round and high-quality cooperation between the two countries.

Boselli highly praised the deepening of China-Italy relations and shared his personal experience of the achievements of the Belt & Road Initiative.

“The connotation of the Belt & Road Initiative lies in the improvement of infrastructure construction and promotion of the communication and exchange in goods and personnel. Therefore, it involves ports, railway stations and other fields. At present, we have achieved certain achievements in the Belt & Road Cooperation, but we still have a lot of work to do in the future,” he said.

In the face of the challenge brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Belt & Road Initiative focuses on global public health cooperation, sharing anti-epidemic information and technological innovation, and further enriching the connotation of the Belt & Road Initiative with high quality.

Upon the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, China lost no time in providing medical and livelihood materials as well as technical assistance to the best of its capacity to help the relevant countries and regions along the Belt & Road. For Italy alone, China has sent three teams of experts to help it fight against the epidemic.

Boselli said that he has sound confidence in the further deepening of bilateral cooperation which has a very promising future.

“This year’s COVID-19 epidemic has forced a lot of work to be postponed, but I think the China-Italy cooperation on the Belt & Road Initiative has made a good start, and we need to look forward to the future. I have confidence in the recovery of Italy and Europe (after the epidemic).

The Chinese economy has recovered. After next spring, everyone will get better. When we encounter the epidemic, it was like that we are forced to temporarily turn off the lights in the house. When the epidemic is over, we can turn on the lights and start to make progress once again. This is also my personal best wishes,” he added.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio had also thanked China and other countries for their assistance to Italy in an interview in the earlier date.