Wang Yi’s mission in Europe started in Italy

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome on Tuesday as part of his week-long Europe, during which he will also visit France, Germany, Netherlands and Norway. This is Wang Yi’s first foreign trip since the coronavirus outbreak in China.

“It was a very fruitful meeting,” Italy’s Di Maio told reporters, adding that the two foreign ministers had discussed how to “relaunch (our) strategic partnership from the economic and industrial point of view”.

Last year, Italy was the first major democracy to sign an agreement to join China’s “Belt and Road” initiative.

Di Maio also told reporters he had raised the issue of Hong Kong with his counterpart, saying citizens’ rights and freedoms had to be respected. “We will follow with great attention the developments of the new national security law”, he added.

Italy’s foreign minister was indirectly responding to the Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, Nathan Law, who accused the Italian government of taking “no concrete steps” to help his country. Law said the Italian government should be “more assertive” with China over the Hong Kong security law that has been condemned by Italy’s parliament and the EU Parliament.

(Valentina Iorio | EURACTIV.it)

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