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Italy Joining China’s BRI, Bad Move


BNR – Italy decided to join China in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which Italian defence minister Guido Crosetto found “atrocious.” Crosetto argued that BRI did not achieve much to improve Italy’s exportation, resulting in benefits for China exclusively.

China has stated before that both it and Italy have witnessed good outcomes from the initiative.

Italy became the first developed economy to join the BRI in 2019 – a move criticised by its Western allies. Italy grew to be the 1st developed economic power to join the initiative in 2019. Evidently, the West rebuked the country’s step.

Italy’s Controversial Decision to Join

The international investor programme sees linking China with Europe and other regions via establishing the old Silk Road trading route. According to BRI, China funds big infrastructure initiatives worldwide, aiming to accelerate exporting Chinese products in various markets.

Experts believe that the initiative is an affront to China’s attempt to gain power and influence. The European Union and the United States have voiced concerns over Italy’s decision to join the BRI in 2019.

“The decision to join the [new] Silk Road was an improvised and atrocious act,” Crosetto said in an interview. He stated that Italy currently has to find a way out of the agreement without destroying ties with China.

“The issue today is: how to walk back (from the BRI) without damaging relations,” he said. “Because it is true that China is a competitor, but it is also a partner.”

Debate over Potential Withdrawal from BRI

There has been a heated debate for three months if Italy should stay in the initiative. Italian PM Giorgia Meloni, expressed back then the desire for potential withdrawal.

The deal will be renewed automatically in March 2024, unless Italy formally decides to withdraw by December 2023.

China has commenced a diplomatic effort to encourage Italy to renew the agreement by sending high-ranking lawmakers to the country.


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