San Marino's ex-regent vows to promote Sino-San Marino friendship

2008-04-05 22:33:58 Xinhua English

ROME, April 5 (Xinhua) -- "I have been to China 24 times and each time I can feel the significant changes happened in it -- a country with great ancient civilization," Gian Franco Terenzi, president of the San Marino-China Friendship Association and San Marino's former head of state, has said.

"The San Marino-China Friendship Association has been committed to promote the friendship between the peoples of the two nations," he added in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Terenzi, who had served as San Marino's head of state (Regent) three times since 1988, told Xinhua that after his first visit to China in 1988, he decided to establish the association as a platform to help San Marinese know more about China.

He also said he has regarded cultural exchanges as the basis of enhancing bilateral friendship because he believes cultural exchanges can promote dialogue and cooperation.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the association, Terenzi said he will head a delegation of San Marinese business people to China in May so that they can seek cooperation with their Chinese counterparts.

"San Marino's Olympic Committee will send delegations to Beijing to attend the Olympic Games. Our athletes are making preparations," he said, "I believe the Beijing Olympics will be successful."

Speaking of China's changes in recent years, Terenzi described them as "unbelievable." The former regent said he is deeply impressed every time he goes to China and that China has undergone changes in almost every aspect of society which strongly testify China's economic development and social progress.

Terenzi, also a member of San Marino's parliament, further said that in the globalized world today, countries should have more opportunities to cooperate with each other, but with willingness to cooperate as a precondition.

He said he remembered the Chinese leaders have said many times that all nations, big and small, are equal. He believed the cooperation between San Marino and China has born this principle out.

He hoped his friendship association will continue to act as an important bridge of friendly cooperation between the two nations in the fields of economy and trade as well as culture.