Mattarella said that Italy supports the Belt and Road Initiati

 that was put forward by Xi, and the initiative is expected to promote the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent.

The BRI is also a road of cultural exchanges, he said, adding that Italy would like to enhance cooperation with China in tourism and culture. Italy ad

mires China’s achievements in economic development, and it appreciates China’s opening-up policies, he said.

Both Italy and China are ancient civilizations, and the people of the two countries have sufficient wisdom to deal with

challenges nowadays, he said, adding that China’s rejuvenation will bring new contributions to peace and prosperity.

China will take a solid step toward becoming a high-income country this year,

reating more space to deepen reform and expand opening-up, economists said on Friday.

A more balanced growth pattern will help the world’s second-largest ec

onomy pass the “middle-income trap”, with consumption and high-tech man

ufacturing leading growth, they said at a Beijing seminar leading up to the 2019 China Development Forum, which starts on Saturday.

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