Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visits to three European countries namely Italy, Monaco and France will inject new impetus into China-EU relations, open up new space for Belt and Road Initiative cooperation and make contributions to world peace & development, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao made the remarks at Wednesday’s media briefing regarding the President’s visits, which would be Xi’s first trip abroad in 2019.

Wang said the visits, stretching from March 21 to 26 will see a wide range of exchanges and meetings between President Xi and leaders from Italy, Monaco, and France.

Facts are ‘Best Proof’

Speaking on sceptics regarding Italy joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Wang said doubts and misunderstanding are inevitable to new things, saying facts are the “best proof”.

“Over 150 countries, regions, and international organisations have signed onto BRI cooperation documents, most of them have benefited from it,” Wang told reporters. “If China and Italy can reach an agreement on BRI, it will bring good influence to economic cooperation between the two sides.”

Noting that President Xi’s visit to Italy will be the first in ten years by a Chinese president, the vice foreign minister said the visit also carries historical significance.

Speaking on sceptics regarding Italy joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Wang said doubts and misunderstanding are inevitable to new things, saying facts are the “best proof”.

“Over 150 countries, regions, and international organisations have signed onto BRI cooperation documents, most of them have benefited from it,” Wang told reporters. “If China and Italy can reach an agreement on BRI, it will bring good influence to economic cooperation between the two sides.”

Noting that President Xi’s visit to Italy will be the first in ten years by a Chinese president, the vice foreign minister said the visit also carries historical significance.

Chinese President’s First Visit to Monaco

President Xi’s visit to Monaco is the first time for a President of the People’s Republic of China to visit the Country, Wang stressed.

Head of State of the Principality of Monaco Albert II visited China last September and during his visit, he invited President Xi to pay a return visit.

China-Monaco ties have become a model of relations between big and small countries featuring mutual respect, equality, and win-win cooperation, added Wang.

President Xi will hold talks with Prince Albert II during the visit to exchange views on political, economic, cultural and environmental fields in depth.

China-France: Special Relationship Between Two Major Powers

Xi’s visit to France will be the first state visit by a Chinese head of state to the country in five years, the vice foreign minister said, stressing that this year also marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the 100th anniversary of work-study program in France, giving the visit special significance.

Calling China-France ties a special relationship between two major powers, the vice foreign minister noted friendly relations and exchanges between the two sides have a long history.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited China last year in January and the two leaders met again in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of Group of 20 (G20) summit last December.

President Xi will hold large and small scale talks with the French president and other French leaders and also attend a small scale banquet, according to Wang.

The two leaders will also witness the signing of documents on energy, transportation, agriculture, culture and science, he added.

President Xi’s visit to France will expand pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, safeguard multilateralism and to advance the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership to a new stage, Wang said.