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HomeNews ReportsItaly officially quits Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet Belt and Road Initiative, informs China

Italy officially quits Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet Belt and Road Initiative, informs China

Italy is the only G7 nation to have entered the Belt and Road Initiative of China, a global trade and infrastructure plan modelled on the old Silk Road that linked imperial China and the West.

Italy has officially informed China that it is quitting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Reuters reported on Wednesday (6th December) citing Italian government sources. In 2019, the then-Italian government had joined the BRI project, and the accord was slated to expire in March 2024. But months before the accord would have automatically renewed, Rome had given a written warning at least three months in advance to the Chinese administration that it was pulling out of the project. 

A government source stated that Beijing had been given a letter “in recent days” informing the Chinese government that Italy would not be renewing the pact, the report added. 

Another government source said, “We have every intention of maintaining excellent relations with China even if we are no longer part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Other G7 nations have closer relations with China than we do, despite the fact they were never in (the BRI).”  

Italy is the only G7 nation to have entered the Belt and Road Initiative of China, a global trade and infrastructure plan modelled on the old Silk Road that linked imperial China and the West.

Rome joined the Chinese-led project dismissing concerns from the United States that the BRI project would enable China to gain control of Italy’s sensitive technologies and vital infrastructure.

While not discussed officially, Italy being part of the BRI had been a matter of concern among other G7 nations. Italy will be the G7 president next year, and it was expected that it would leave the Chinese initiative within this year. 

Additionally, when the incumbent Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni took office last year, she had announced that she wanted to withdraw from the deal stating that it had brought no significant gains to Italy. 

Subsequently, in September, Italy had informed China about its intention to leave the BRI. Back then it was reported that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni privately told Chinese Premier Li Quiang about Italy’s plan to pull out of the initiative during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Delhi.

Further, the expected announcement comes against the backdrop that Italy along with 7 other countries signed the MoU India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor, which has been viewed as an answer to the BRI of China.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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