June 1, 2018 / 7:56 AM / 17 days ago

China says it is happy to see political stability in Italy

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is happy to see political stability in Italy, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday, after a coalition deal removed the risk of a repeat vote and ended months of uncertainty that rocked Italian financial markets.

FILE PHOTO: Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry, speaks at a regular news conference in Beijing, China, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Italy is an important member of the European Union and has traditionally friendly ties with China, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“China is of course happy to see Italy maintain political and social stability, and its economy continue to develop and prosper,” she said.

Italy’s anti-establishment parties revived coalition plans on Thursday, ending three months of political turmoil by announcing a government that promises to increase spending, challenge European Union fiscal rules and crack down on immigration.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said last week that China was a long-term and responsible investor in the euro and hoped the currency would be strong and steady, in spite of the occasional sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

China says it is a responsible investor and thinks long-term in its investments. China also says it diversifies its foreign exchange reserves to safeguard their value.

Holding more than $3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, China is a powerful global investor. The exact composition of the reserves is a state secret.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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