Ties with Monaco example of solid diplomacy

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - China and Monaco have set a fine example of friendly exchanges between countries that are different in size and have different historical and cultural backgrounds and social systems, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi made the remarks in talks with the principality’s head of state, Prince Albert II, on Sunday when he made a state visit to the city-state on the Mediterranean coast. Xi’s visit marks the first by a Chinese president to the country.

The “historic” visit, as it was described by the host, will help bring China-Monaco ties much closer and create better opportunities for the two sides to expand win-win cooperation in broader fields, observers said.

The two countries have consistently deepened their friendship and cooperation, according to Mu Yangzi, a researcher of European studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, wrote in an article on the website of China Radio International. Xi’s visit will inject fresh impetus into bilateral ties, Mu added.

During the talks, Xi said China-Monaco relations are developing steadily, with bilateral practical cooperation keeping pace with the times and taking the lead in China-Europe cooperation in the fields of environmental protection, telecommunications and mobile payment.

Monaco Telecom inked a memorandum of understanding with Chinese tech giant Huawei in February on a strategic partnership aiming to accelerate deployment of “smart city” services in the country, in line with its Smart Nation project.

In June 2017, Monaco signed an agreement of strategic partnership with Alipay, China’s leading third-party online payment platform, to introduce mobile payment to the country’s businesses in order to promote a cash-free society.

Xi also said the two countries should follow the right direction of bilateral ties, keep strengthening their traditional friendship and mutual political trust, and enhance coordination in the United Nations and international affairs. He also said he hoped they would uphold openness and deepen win-win cooperation.

China and Monaco should upgrade the level of cooperation on environmental protection, Xi said, adding that China welcomes Monaco to take an active role in international cooperation on jointly building the Belt and Road.

Xi also said that the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is welcome to conduct environmental protection activities in the interests of the public in China and to enrich cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Prince Albert told Xi that Monaco is willing to expand cooperation with China in such fields as science and technology, innovation, ecological and environmental protection, wildlife conservation and renewable energy.

Monaco highly appreciates China’s role in international affairs such as climate change, and stands ready to support China in hosting the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity next year, the prince said. He also wished success for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Monaco. Monaco Ambassador to China Catherine Fautrier said in an interview with China Central Television that she hopes Xi’s visit will further cement bilateral ties and bring new opportunities to her country.

Monaco was the second stop on Xi’s six-day European trip.


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