China says Italy willing to resume some China flights
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Italy was willing to resume some flights between the two countries, after it suspended direct air traffic last month over worries about the coronavirus outbreak.
China’s vice foreign minister, Qin Gang, had a meeting on Thursday with Italy’s ambassador to China, Luca Ferrari, during which they discussed the issue, the ministry said.
Qin told Ferrari that Italy’s decision to stop flights without contacting China in advance had caused “great inconvenience” to citizens of both countries, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
China was “strongly dissatisfied with the overreaction and restrictions”, especially as it was trying to bring stranded citizens there home, it said.
Ferrari said Italy sympathized with the situation facing Chinese residents in Italy and at this stage, it was willing to approve some applications from Chinese airlines to resume some flights, the Chinese ministry said.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own, has expressed anger that the ban included the island too.
Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said they had not received any information from the Italian government that flights from Taiwan could resume but that they were continuing to press the matter.
Italy has no restriction on the entry of Taiwan citizens, she added.
Italy’s de facto embassy in Taiwan said on Wednesday it had “noted” the island’s request for a speedy resumption of air ties.
Taiwan’s largest carrier, China Airlines (2610.TW), said in a statement on Friday that its Taipei-Rome flights would be canceled until at least Feb. 21.
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