China and Italy have set an example for dialogue and cooperation between Eastern and Western civilizations, Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Junhua said on Friday at an online event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During the past 50 years, China and Italy always respected and learned from each other and promoted their mutual interests

Li said.

Therefore, “differences and disputes did not prevent the two countries from conducting constructive interactions and benefiting people on both sides,” he stressed.

China and Italy established diplomatic ties on November 6, 1970, and forged a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2004.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly advance the construction of the Belt & Road in March, making Italy the first nation in the Group of Seven (G7) to officially join the Belt & Road Initiative proposed by China.

Li underscored the mutual support and assistance between China and Italy in the fight against COVID-19 this year, noting that the two countries signed a number of cooperation deals in areas such as agricultural products and energy despite the pandemic.

The ambassador called on the two sides to join hands to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and safeguard world peace and multilateralism.

He expressed confidence that China-Italy relations will be even more successful in the next 50 years.