Italy Officially Withdraws From China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Italy Officially Withdraws From China's Belt and Road Initiative

( – The Italian government recently informed the Chinese regime that it is formally withdrawing from Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to a Corriere della Sera report, Rome sent a letter to China in which it expressed its intentions but didn’t provide reasons.

Over the last few years, numerous political analysts such as Fernando Diaz or Ian Bremmer have claimed that the BRI has become Chinese Dictator Xi Jinping’s pet project to expand Beijing’s influence all over the world. Numerous reports have said Italy was one of the cornerstones of China’s expansion into Europe, after establishing its geopolitical domain not only in Africa and Asia but also in numerous parts of Latin America.

While the Italian government tried to modify its inclusion in the BRI before the renewal deadline, the Chinese regime rejected the overtures of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, which precipitated the decision to leave the partnership.

Under the government of former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Italy became the first G7 member to officially join the BRI in 2019, with promises of massive Chinese investment in Italy and increased economic growth for the European nation. However, many Italian politicians claimed that while there were many investment projects by Chinese businessmen into Italian ports, most of the promises remained unfulfilled. Local media reports even said that China was using the ports as Europe’s springboard for the Chinese fleet of merchant ships.

Numerous media outlets have also noted that Italy’s membership in the BRI came with major setbacks for the European nation, with China’s Communist Party using the partnership to push forward its preferred narratives in Italian media. In 2021, one of the prominent newspapers, owned by the family of former conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, started to publish content produced by the Chinese regime without informing their readers.

Even Italy’s main news agency, Ansa, started to publish wires from China’s Xinhua news service, which prompted a controversy where many politicians said that the country was being controlled by Beijing.

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