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Reading with Xi Jinping | Italy and China

By Xiang Shizhen, Liu Dong, Zhao Chen, Ma Tianyi    People's Daily Online   08:25, April 24, 2022


The book Italy and China (Italia e Cina) written by two notable Italian sinologists Giuliano Bertuccioli and Federico Masini tells the history of exchanges between Italy and China.

A signed article by Chinese President Xi Jinping titled "East Meets West -- A New Chapter of Sino-Italian Friendship" was published on March 20, 2019, in the leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of his state visit to the European country. He mentioned Italy and China in the article as a work of Sinology, stressing the importance of carrying forward China-Italy friendship through intensive cultural exchanges.

With reference to literature and historical documents, Italy and China introduces the history of exchanges between China and Italy as well as changes in how the two countries see each other. It also introduces the efforts of and contributions to promoting mutual understanding as made by several prominent figures in the history of both countries, such as Marco Polo, Matteo Ricci, and Giuseppe Castiglione from Italy, as well as Xu Guangqi, Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao from China.

There is an ancient Roman proverb that goes, Greater reverence from afar. It is the best interpretation for relations between different nations. (…) The relationship between the Roman Empire and China’s Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) is just an example.

The book covers a time span of over 20 centuries, starting from the ancient Roman Empire and ending in the early stage of the Republic of China in the early 20th century.

The process of how China and Italy, two ancient civilizations, got to know each other, deepen mutual understanding and respect one another is revealed in the book.