Sun. Jun 16th, 2024
Italy's Shocking Decision to Withdraw from China's Belt and Road Initiative

Italy’s Shocking Decision to Withdraw from China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Italy’s Shocking Decision to Withdraw from China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Italy considering quitting China’s Belt and Road Initiative amid G20 discussions

In a surprising turn of events, Italian media reports emerged on Sunday suggesting that Italy is considering withdrawing from China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Later the same day, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stressed that Italy’s relationship with China involves much more than its participation in the BRI. She clarified that a final decision has not yet been made regarding Italy’s participation in the BRI.

Italy holds a unique position as the only G7 nation, which includes advanced economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, with the European Union as an additional member to join the BRI. Italy’s formal entry into this initiative took place in 2019, signaling an important geopolitical development.

Italy’s dilemma in the Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious effort aimed at connecting China with Western countries, reminiscent of the role of the ancient Silk Road in promoting international trade. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has launched various infrastructure projects including the construction of bridges, roads, ports and digital connectivity networks in partner countries as part of this far-reaching initiative.

During the G20 summit held in New Delhi, Italian Prime Minister Meloni held discussions with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. Following their meeting, reports emerged on Sunday of Italy’s possible withdrawal from the Belt and Road Initiative. In an effort to reduce potential tensions with China, Italy expressed its intention to revive another strategic partnership agreement with China, originally established in 2004.

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