The foundation of the Italy-China Institute for economic and cultural exchanges dates back to March 17th, 1971, by the President Vittorino Colombo.
The then Foreign Minister felt the need of integrating the standard diplomatic activity with a specific action for the promotion of relationships between the two countries. Therefore, he designated Vittorino Colombo to develop such action, entrusting him of a sort of an unofficial investiture by the government and major parties, which effectively guaranteed him a unique “monopoly” in relationships between Italy and the Chinese People’s Republic.
Colombo deeply believed in the entrusted mission. He founded the Italy-China Institute, next to the existing Chamber of Commerce, becoming the pioneer of new relationships between the two countries and helping to open a breach in the “bamboo wall” that kept separated China from the rest of the world.
After the death of the President (June 4th, 1996), the Institute become Vittorino Colombo Institute for the development of cultural, economic and political relationships with the Chinese People’s Republic, briefly referred to as the Italy-China Institute.
An ideological and operational commitment that the Institute has faithfully maintained over the years, with various initiatives and a strong collaboration between the two populations and the two countries.
A present that comes from afar
On November 6th, 1970 Italy and China got in touch with each other establishing diplomatic relations and exchanging Ambassadors; almost hereinafter, Italy also voted for the admission to the UN of the Chinese People’s Republic, as an original member.
We can say that the mutual knowing between Italy and China has its roots in a distance past. In fact, it is certain that, at the moment of the coronation of Emperor Augustus (Rome, 117-138 AD), some Celestial Empire-“sent” (Han dynasty) were present. The strong and frequent relationships between Italy and China relied on an important documentation that crosses several ages and reaches its climax with the stays of Marco Polo and Matteo Ricci.
Since then, Italy-China relationships and collaborations are an ongoing and multifaceted realty, that the Institute has devoted and keeps devoting an attentive haste, with mutual exchanges at each level, in order to reaffirm a profitable friendship through different activities.