The 6th of November 1970, 50 years ago, the People’s Republic of China and the Italian Republic officially established diplomatic relations, marking the beginning of a new era in the relations between these two countries. Half a century during which two countries with millenary traditions such as China and Italy have listened to and compared each other, have learned to trust each other and collaborate to create profitable exchanges in many fields.
The establishment of diplomatic relations opened a new page in bilateral relations, marked by the shared desire of both sides to promote cooperation, especially in the economic and cultural fields.
After China’s economic opening up reforms in the ‘80s, a real basis for opening and growth of economic exchanges began, with the two countries willing to deepen their relationship with a series of mutual official visit by the two countries’ Presidents.
In the following years, Italy and China continued their economic and cultural exchange regardless the two countries political views and difficulties.
Another important step was marked by China admission to the World Trade Organization in 2001, where these exchanges grown faster than ever.
Nowadays, according to data from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China is currently the recipient of about 2.6% of Italian exports and it is the second county, after Germany, for the origin of Italian imports (8.9%).
Cultural and scientific relations have also been constantly growing. In terms of education, in recent years different cultural exchange programs (like “Marco Polo” and “Turandot”) have favored the enrollment of Chinese students in Italian schools and universities.
Anyway, these 50 years of diplomatic relations are destined to deepen even more.
Just last year, in 2019, Italy and China signed an MoU aiming at a strategic partnership covering a broad range of areas such as trade, investment, finance, transportation, logistics, infrastructure, connectivity, sustainable development, mobility and cooperation under the “coat” of the Belt and Road Initiative where Italy represent the only G-7 member to join it.
This year, 2020, was supposed to bring another improvement in the relations and cooperation between the two countries, in fact related to the 50th anniversary celebration, within the framework of the “Year of Culture and Tourism” with numerous programmed activities.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the programs scheduled to celebrate this important event were cancelled. So, on the evening of November 4th, 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian President Sergio Mattarella celebrated this important anniversary over phone.
During these 50 years, China and Italy uphold mutual respect and trust, mutual benefits, mutual learning and supporting despite of the changing international environment.
They claim a long friendship that is willing to continue in the following years with a constant development of the relationship and a deepen cultural and economic exchanges and cooperation.