VALLETTA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to make joint efforts with Malta to further promote their traditional friendly relations, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said here on Saturday.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Maltese Acting President George Hyzler (L) in Valletta, capital of Malta, Feb. 21, 2009. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
Xi arrived in Malta's capital Valletta on Saturday morning to pay an official visit to the Mediterranean island country, on the last leg of a six-nation tour that started on Feb. 8. Earlier he visited Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
During a meeting with Acting Maltese President George Hyzler, Xi said that Sino-Maltese relations have been developing very well in recent years, with a frequent exchange of high-level visits, enhanced mutually beneficial cooperation, and active exchanges in such fields as culture, education and judicature.
China and Malta understand and support each other in major international and regional affairs, he said, adding that the two nations are "old friends and good friends" that have stood the test of time.
For his part, Hyzler thanked China for the sincere help it has provided for Malta, and congratulated China on the great achievements of its modernization drive. He also noted that there has been a good cooperative relationship between Malta and China.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) meets with Maltese Parliament Speaker Louis Galea in Valletta, capital of Malta, Feb. 21, 2009.(Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
While meeting with Louis Galea, speaker of Malta's House of Representatives, Xi stated that parliamentary exchange is an important part of Sino-Maltese relations, and that strengthening exchange and cooperation between the two sides is of great significance for the development of bilateral ties and friendship between the two peoples.
China attaches great importance to the development of Sino- Maltese ties, treasures the friendship between the two peoples, and appreciates Malta's long-term adherence to the one-China policy, the vice president stressed.
In response, Galea said Malta has treasured its friendship with China, which is a major country in the world.
Malta highly appreciates China's foreign policy of peaceful cooperation, and expects China to actively play its part in promoting world peace, tackling the current financial crisis and protecting the environment, Galea said.
Both Hyzler and Galea reiterated that the Maltese government and parliament will firmly stick to the one-China policy.