China and Malta pledged to deepen cooperation during senior diplomat Wang Yi’s visit to the European country.
Maltese President George Vella met with Wang, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, at the presidential palace on Sunday, where Wang conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s warm greetings to Vella and thanked him for his long-term contributions to promoting China-Malta friendship.
Thanks to the strategic guidance of both heads of state, China-Malta relations have enjoyed sustained, healthy and stable development, said Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Wang said the two countries respect and treat each other as equals, help each other and pursue common development, which has become a model for state-to-state relations.
China appreciates Malta’s adherence to the one-China principle, its objective and friendly view of China’s development, and its understanding and support for China’s legitimate advocacy, Wang noted.
He said China is willing to work with Malta to continuously and firmly support each other, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and jointly usher in next 50 years of better China-Malta relations.
Wang thanked Malta for facilitating the China-U.S. strategic communication, noting that the Chinese and U.S. sides had a long discussion on how to stabilize China-U.S. relations, effectively manage differences, explore mutually beneficial cooperation, and shoulder their respective international responsibilities in addressing global challenges. He said the meeting was comprehensive, in-depth and productive.
Vella asked Wang to convey his sincere greetings to Xi, saying that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malta and China more than 50 years ago, China has always treated Malta with full respect and equality.
Vella noted that the two countries have supported and coordinated with each other with the development of bilateral relations maintaining good momentum and cooperation in various fields achieving significant results.
Malta firmly adheres to the one-China principle and looks forward to deepening practical cooperation with China, so as to achieve further development of bilateral relations, said Vella.
Malta admires China’s development achievements, and appreciates China’s active diplomacy in safeguarding and promoting peace, he said, adding that Malta is willing to enhance communication and coordination with China on international and regional affairs.
Vella said Malta welcomes the holding of the China-U.S. meeting, which he said benefits the world.
Wang said China supports Malta’s serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and welcomes Malta to continue playing a unique role in dealing with international and regional hotspot issues.
China, Malta agree to jointly promote China-EU cooperation
During his visit to Malta, Wang also met with Maltese Foreign Minister Ian Borg.
The two sides also agreed to work together to promote China-European Union (EU) cooperation during Wang’s talk with Borg on Saturday.
Wang said that China and Malta have always respected and treated each other as equals, which has set an example of friendly cooperation between countries of different sizes.
With strong political mutual trust and solid public support, the two countries have maintained a momentum of healthy and stable development, Wang said.
Noting that China appreciates Malta’s repeated affirmation of its firm adherence to the one-China principle, Wang said China, as a friend and partner, also firmly supports Malta in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests.
China welcomes Malta’s serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2023-2024 term, and is willing to strengthen multilateral cooperation, jointly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, and defend international fairness and justice, Wang said.
China-EU cooperation outweighs differences and the two sides are partners instead of rivals, he emphasized, adding that they can fully appreciate and learn from each other.
China has consistently supported the EU’s strategic independence and European integration, he noted.
Since China and the EU established a comprehensive strategic partnership 20 years ago, the scope and depth of cooperation have been continuously expanded, Wang said, adding that both sides should continue to maintain an open attitude, firmly support free trade, reject protectionism, and achieve the positive effects of China-EU cooperation.
Wang said he hopes Malta continues to play a positive role in the development of China-EU relations.
Borg noted that the Malta-China relationship is strong and enduring. Malta cherishes its friendship with China and consistently adheres to the one-China principle, which is a firm and clear position, he added.
He said that Malta looks forward to attending the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai, seizing opportunities in the Chinese market and further expanding Malta-China cooperation.
Malta agrees that the EU and China are partners, not rivals, and is willing to work together to promote EU-China cooperation and jointly address global challenges, said Borg.
(With input from Xinhua)