Italian PM tells China’s premier of plan to quit Belt and Road Initiative
Italian PM tells China’s premier of plan to quit Belt and Road Initiative: During a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the G20 summit, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni detailed Italy’s decision to exit the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Italian media reported on Sunday.
In order to mitigate any fallout from Beijing’s decision, Italy intends to revitalize a strategic partnership agreement inked with China in 2004 that aims to strengthen economic collaboration.
Italy is the only G7 country to join the BRI, a global trade and infrastructure initiative modeled after the historic Silk Road, which connected imperial China with the West.
“The prime minister (Meloni) communicated her intention to quit the project to her counterpart,” the newspaper Corriere della Sera said, adding that Premier Li had made a last effort to convince the Italians to reconsider.
Italian legislators have questioned the worth of a BRI pact made by a previous government in 2019, which has caused conflict with Western allies owing to concerns about the development of Chinese influence.
The Italians assured the Chinese that their choice was not driven by the US, according to the article, which was mirrored by similar stories in other Italian publications.
Italy will preside over the G7 next year, and recasting its ties with Beijing would appease its Western friends.
Meloni and Li met on Saturday at the G20 conference in New Delhi to discuss expanding cooperation, according to Meloni’s office.
“Italy and China share a Global Strategic Partnership, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year and will serve as a beacon for the advancement of friendship and cooperation… in all areas of mutual interest,” the statement said.
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