On October 7, 2010, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome.
Premier Wen conveyed to Napolitano the regards and best wishes from President Hu Jintao. Italy is among the first West European countries that established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and the history of friendly communications between the two countries could be even longer, Wen said. The premier said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Italy and China and also is the Chinese Cultural Year in Italy. The Italians have decorated their streets with red lanterns and dressed up Rome's ancient arena with China red, demonstrating their deep affection and warm greetings to the Chinese people, said Wen. He said his visit was aimed to comprehensively boost cooperation and exchanges with Italy and that he was fully confident in achieving that goal.
Relations between China and the European Union (EU) are now at a key stage of their development, and it is important for those politicians with a sense of historical responsibility to make far-sighted choices, Wen said. He expressed the hope that Italy could play a bigger role in enhancing the Sino-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.
For his part, Napolitano asked Wen to convey his regards to President Hu Jintao. The Italian president also said he is looking forward to visiting China in the near future. China has played a decisive role in the global cooperation in tackling the international financial crisis, and its influence in international political and economic affairs is increasingly growing, he said. He said EU leaders must realize the changes of today's world and take a right attitude to cope with them. He said while recognizing the developments and changes of the situation, the EU should strengthen unity and conduct sincere dialogue and cooperation with China, promising that Italy would make positive contributions to this process.
On the same day, Wen also met with the staff of the Chinese Embassy in Italy and representatives from Chinese-funded institutions, Chinese students and overseas Chinese.