On January 31, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao exchanged congratulatory messages with his Maltese counterpart George Abela on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Hu said Sino-Maltese ties have been developing steadily, high-level exchanges have been frequent, and political mutual trust has been increasingly strengthened since the forging of diplomatic ties 40 years ago. Economic and trade cooperation has been continuously expanded, and cooperation in culture and education has been fruitful, Hu said, adding both sides have also coordinated closely in international affairs. China appreciates Malta's adherence to the one-China policy as well as its position and efforts to actively promote the development of China-EU ties, Hu said.
He said China is ready to make joint efforts with Malta to boost dialogue and exchanges at various levels, deepen pragmatic cooperation in all fields on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, and turn the China-Malta ties into a role model for countries of different social systems that can live in peace with each other.
Abela said the close cooperation between Malta and China has been consistently developed and continued to strengthen in the political, economic and cultural fields during the past 40 years. Bilateral friendly cooperative relations have been fruitful. The bond of friendship, cooperation and mutual respect between the two peoples represents a source of pride for the two countries, Abela said. The president was confident that Malta and China will further consolidate their existing sound relations for the benefit of both peoples and wish the relations will serve to promote the universally desired attainment of peace and prosperity among all nations.
On the same day, Premier Wen Jiabao also exchanged congratulatory messages with Maltese Prime Minister Lawence Gonzi.
Wen said the China-Malta relationship has maintained a good momentum of development thanks to joint efforts over the last 40 years. To further advance the friendly cooperative relationship is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples, Wen said. He hopes that the two sides could take the celebration of 40th anniversary as an opportunity to increase mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, and push forward their bilateral ties to a new stage so as to benefit the two countries and the two peoples.
Gonzi said Malta and China share a special relationship built on mutual respect and appreciation. Those ties are a driving force in further strengthening the bonds of friendship and understanding between the two peoples and set the two countries in good stead to face together the multiple challenges and opportunities, Gonzi said. He welcomes the rapidly evolving close cooperation in different spheres between China and the European Union. Gonzi firmly believes that the joint commitment to see the bilateral relationship grow and flourish in all spheres will continue to render positive results in the coming years that will benefit the two peoples.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tonio Borg also exchanged congratulatory messages.