In 1970 Italy was among the first countries in Europe to recognize the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate government of China. So this year is the 50th anniversary of the friendship between China and Italy.
In 1988, when China was still a poor and scientifically backward country, China went around Europe trying to gather support to improve public health standards, Italy was the only country that lent a hand and helped China to build several emergency centers, the most famous of which was the Chong Qing Emergency Health Center, then located in Sichuan province.
In 2003 SARS broke out in China. When most of the Western world was busy criticizing China’s public health, Italy increased cooperation with China, held four conferences at military level. The then President Berlusconi went to Beijing during the epidemic to increase imports and exports between the two countries.
And in 2008, during the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan province, Italy sent supplies worth 1.5 million euros, 240 medical tents, 14 leading health experts to the most affected regions.
Since 1981 Italy has sent over 1.2 billion dollars in aid to China, most of it from European countries. Italy has also contributed to the construction of the Beijing Emergency Centre, donating 42 ambulances with it.
Today, when the coronavirus epidemic brought down Italian hospitals, the Sichuan Province sent its best, a team of experts consisting of nine and 31 tons of medical equipment with medical masks, test kits, protective gowns, antibodies collected from recovered patients, ventilators, etc..
As the situation worsens, China is sending another 300 doctors and nurses to Italy.