China / Society

Joint police patrols confirm Sino-Italy friendship

By Wang Qingyun ( Updated: 2016-05-07 20:09

The ongoing joint patrol by Italian and Chinese police officers in the streets of Italy shows Italy's "tailored attention to Chinese citizens", according to a news release by the Italian Embassy in China.

Starting from Monday, four Chinese police officers are on patrols in Rome and Milan with their Italian counterparts for two weeks. This makes Italy the first European country to have Chinese police officers patrolling the streets. The joint patrols cover a time when Italy sees "the maximum flow" of Chinese tourists, said the embassy in a written interview with China Daily.

The Chinese police officers are there "to facilitate contacts with local authorities by Chinese citizens", and they serve in their own uniforms so that Chinese people will easily recognize them, according to the embassy.

"This police cooperation is an integral part of the cooperation between countries, and the agreement confirms the solid partnership between Italy and China," said the embassy.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries in September, China would send police officers to join patrols in Italy during peak seasons of tourism to protect Chinese citizens there.

A popular tourist destination for Chinese people, Italy attracted more than 1.4 million Chinese tourists last year, according to the Italian Embassy in China. It said Italy is "particularly eager to open its doors to the Chinese." The country opened up 11 visa centers in China this year, another move to attract more Chinese after it shortened the time for processing individual tourism and business visas for Chinese to within 36 hours.

"The best facilitation a country can offer to the tourists is efficiency," said Ettore Sequi, Italian ambassador to China.

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