Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
"There is symbolic importance to the leaders of these two countries discussing this pandemic that one country, China, has been successful in confronting," said a senior researcher.
ROME, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The recent phone conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has both symbolic and practical importance as the two countries are jointly battling the COVID-19 outbreak, Italian analysts have said.
In the phone call made on Monday evening, Xi said China identifies with Italy's urgent concerns, and will send more medical experts to Italy and do its best to provide medical supplies and other assistance.
Conte thanked the Chinese side for its valuable support and assistance at Italy's difficult times, saying this has once again proved the profound friendship between the two peoples.
Shanghai medical experts attend the video conference with Italian experts, in Shanghai, east China, on March 16, 2020, sharing their experience on prevention and control measures, medical treatment and scientific research related to the coronavirus epidemic. (Photo by Wang Xiang/Xinhua)
"There is symbolic importance to the leaders of these two countries discussing this pandemic that one country, China, has been successful in confronting," Alessia Amighini, co-head of the Asia program with the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, a think tank, told Xinhua. "From a practical perspective, it is welcomed as well, since Italy needs all the help it can get to help confront this outbreak."
"Now that China has its outbreak mostly under control, I think they would help any country that needed it," said Gian Franco Gallo, a political affairs analyst with ABS Securities.
Italy has become the first Group of Seven (G7) member to join the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. During the phone conversation, Xi told Conte that China is willing to work with Italy to contribute to international cooperation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and to the construction of a Health Silk Road.
Xi made a state visit to Italy in 2019, during which the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly advance the construction of the Belt and Road. After the visit, Conte traveled to Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. ■