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Italy’s BRI Blunder

11 40 8
21.03.2019

BERLIN – Barring any sudden reversals, Italy will formally endorse China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome this week. Though US President Donald Trump’s administration recently signaled its disapproval of Italy’s engagement with China’s massive transnational infrastructure investment scheme, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed on March 15 that the government will proceed with signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Mar 4, 2019 Emmanuel Macron calls on EU citizens to focus on three goals ahead of the critical European Parliament election in May.

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The MoU will come at a high political cost for Italy, while offering only limited economic benefits. Nonetheless, it has been in the pipeline for quite some time. Italian Undersecretary of State for Economic Development Michele Geraci, the head of the Ministry of Economic Development’s “China Task Force,” has made formal endorsement of the BRI his pet project. And Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has publicly committed to signing the document.

Moreover, securing Italy’s official endorsement........

© Project Syndicate