ROME, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said here on Friday that China attaches importance to the role of Italy in international affairs and hopes to further enhance the Sino- Italian comprehensive strategic partnership.
Xi, who is on an official visit to Italy, spoke highly of the development of bilateral relations while holding talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday.
China and Italy "have pushed forward bilateral relations through friendly cooperation and achieved a mutually beneficial, win-win outcome," said Xi.
In addition to fast-growing economic cooperation, China and Italy have also expanded cultural exchanges, which helps improve the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Xi noted.
To further strengthen relations, Xi suggested the two sides have more political dialogue, and implement the 2011-2013 three- year action plan for enhancing economic cooperation, with the ambitious goal of doubling the dual-track trade volume from about 40 billion U.S. dollars at present to 80 billion in 2015.
He also stressed the necessity to further expand people-to- people exchanges and strengthen communication between different localities of the two countries.
On Sino-European relations, Xi said that China, as a comprehensive partner of Europe, has taken concrete action to help certain European countries hit by the sovereign debt crisis.
China's active and pragmatic response "released a positive message which helped consolidate confidence in the market," he added.
Berlusconi expressed satisfaction with the current development of Italy-China relations, adding that Italy is willing to further enhance cooperation with China on culture, movie production and tourism.
After the two leaders' talks, the two sides signed 16 cooperation documents and business contracts worth 3.3 billion U.S. dollars. Both leaders attended the signing ceremony.
China's Ministry of Science and Technology signed a memorandum of understanding with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research on scientific research cooperation. It also signed a framework document with Italy's Tuscany regional government for supporting cooperation on regional innovation.
China Development Bank, China National Petroleum Cooperation, Huawei, Guangzhou Auto and other Chinese companies and organizations signed 14 business cooperation contracts with Italian companies, covering such areas as telecom, medicine, finance, automobile and new energy.
Xi has come as the guest of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.