Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao met Saturday with his Italian counterpart Mariao Monti, as part of the Italian Prime Minister's visit to China to promote bilateral ties. "Italy is a major member of the European Union and a strategic partner of China," Wen said during his talks with visiting Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. Premier Wen said he appreciated Monti's commitment to carrying out reform to boost the Italian economy as well as developing the relationship with China. "With its vibrant culture, Italy is highly innovative and has a large number of dynamic medium- and small-sized enterprises," Wen said, adding that he believed that Italy will successfully deal with the unfavorable external economic environment and achieve new growth, thanks to its solid economic foundation, great potential and the ongoing reforms. For his part, Monti said Italy regards China as a strategic partner and the Italian side is willing to advance cooperation with China bilaterally and multilaterally for common development. He added that he hoped this visit would serve to deepen the traditional friendship between the two nations. At Wen's invitation, Monti arrived in Beijing Friday afternoon for his official visit to China. After the Beijing tour, Monti is set to attend the Bo'ao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2012, which is to open on Sunday in Southern China's island province of Hainan. Two-way trade between China and Italy in 2011 maintains growth despite European debt crisis, reaching around 50 billion US dollars.