No decision yet on quitting China’s Belt and Road: Italy PM Meloni

ROME – Italy has still not made decision whether to give up China’s Belt and Road investment plan, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni revealed on Sunday, but executing this idea would not hamper bilateral rapports. “We are still yet to decide ” Ms Meloni conveyed a press conference at the completion of the G-20 summit in New Delhi, a day after meeting for conversations with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Should Rome take a decision to quit, it “would not hamper rapports” with China, Ms Meloni said. Italy, willing to shrink any backlash from the decision from Beijing, would be as a replacement aim to refresh a deliberately built collaboration agreement with China, goal directed at boosting economic cooperation, it first signed in 2004.

Italy is the only G7 country to sign up to the Belt and Road Initiative. It is a global trade and infrastructure plan modelled on the old Silk Road that connected imperial China and the West. People who criticise this have a view that the Belt and Road plan is a Trojan horse to boost China’s impact. The contract naturally renews in March 2024 unless Italy opts out in the last months of this year.