President Xi Jinping’s trip to Italy, Monaco and France promoted new expansion of the Belt and Road in Eurasia, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
Xi arrived in Beijing on Wednesday after wrapping up his state visits to the three European countries. It is his first overseas trip this year. During the six-day visit, Xi traveled to five cities and attended more than 40 events.
On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, hosted a farewell ceremony for Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan. Xi also met with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, National Assembly President Richard Ferrand and Senate President Gerard Larcher on the same day.
The trip was dedicated to deepening cooperation with Europe, improving global governance and maintaining multilateralism, and it reflected China’s responsible role as a major country, Wang said on Tuesday.
The trip took Xi to the other end of the ancient Silk Road and boosted Eurasian interconnectivity through joint building of the Belt and Road, according to Wang.
“Wherever President Xi went, he took the Belt and Road and produced a harvest of practical cooperation there,” Wang said.
Witnessed by Xi and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on Saturday on jointly building the Belt and Road. Italy became the first G7 member country to sign official documents with China on the Belt and Road.
The Italian government’s strategic decision of joining the Belt and Road is pragmatic and visionary, Wang said, adding that the agreement has brought new driving force to promote connection between Asia and Europe.
During his talks with Xi, Conte agreed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which is to be held in Beijing next month.
While Xi was in France, the two countries agreed to push the building of major projects in traditional areas and expand cooperation in new areas including scientific innovation, agriculture and finance.
The leaders of China, France, Germany and the European Union met and had constructive discussions on jointly building the Belt and Road, and all the parties responded positively, Wang said.
Xi, in a separate meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that the Belt and Road Initiative will promote international economic cooperation and contribute to building an open global economy.
At the closing ceremony of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Emmanuel Macron said that the Belt and Road Initiative is of great significance and will play an important role in promoting global peace and development.
In his talks with Prince Albert II, head of state of the Principality of Monaco, the two leaders discussed such topics as jointly building the Belt and Road and exploring international markets.
Xi and European leaders also had in-depth talks over China-Europe relations and global governance issues, boosting confidence on maintaining multilateralism, Wang said.