On the evening of January 6, 2012, Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in the capital city Valletta.
Gonzi said that this year coincides with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Malta is satisfied with the continuous progress of exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of politics, economy, trade and culture and hopes to further expand bilateral friendship and cooperation in tourism, services, information technology and education. Malta is willing to make active efforts for deepening cooperation between the EU and China.
Yang said since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have developed smoothly with expanding economic and trade cooperation and dynamic exchanges in culture, education, finance, health and justice, which brings tangible benefits to the two peoples. The development of China-Malta friendly relations has benefited from mutual trust, mutual help and mutual benefit. China thanks for the help rendered by the Maltese government and people in the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya last year. This year is pivotal to China's 12th Five-Year Plan. China will continue to accelerate the transformation of economic development mode and actively expand domestic demand. This provides more opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Malta. China is ready to work together with Malta and seek cooperation in Malta's priority areas including financial services, communications and high-value-added manufacturing to promote the bilateral friendly cooperation to achieve more fruitful results. China hopes to continue to play a constructive role in the development of China-EU relations.
On January 7, Malta's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tonio Borg also met with Yang Jiechi. The two sides agreed to take the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to hold a series of celebrations, deepen economic and trade cooperation and expand humanities exchanges in a bid to promote new progress of exchanges and cooperation in various fields between the two countries.
The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.