Italian Premier ‘privately signals’ to Li Qiang seeking exit from China’s BRI pact: Report

Meloni - The News Today - TNT

ROME (Italy): Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has privately signaled to Chinnese Premier Li Qiang that Italy is seeking to exit the Belts and Roads Initiative (BRI) agreement was signed four years ago.

Earlier in July this year, Italy’s Defence Minister Guido Crosetto has said that the BRI was an “improvized and atrocious” made by Italy while signing with China.


Reports of Italy considering signing the BRI a regrettable decision and seeking to break free has been doing the rounds from the later half of 2023. However, during the prestigious 18th Group of 20 (G20) Summit, being held in India’s Delhi, Italian Premier Meloni has signalled to China that they want to exit the agreement that is testing Italy’s relations with United States, the Bloomberg reported.

The Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter stated that PM Meloni told Li that Italy plans to withdraw from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative while still looking to maintain friendly relations with Beijing Italy officially signed up for the pact in 2019.

Meloni has said she will visit China in the coming months and the issue is sensitive, particularly since China’s ambassador to Italy had warned there would be “negative consequences” for Italy if it withdrew from the agreement.

Notably, Italy’s decision signing the BRI agreement, made it the only major Western country to have taken such a step.

The BRI scheme aims to rebuild the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with large infrastructure spending. Critics see it as a tool for China to spread its geopolitical and economic influence.

“The decision to join the (new) Silk Road was an improvised and atrocious act that multiplied China’s exports to Italy but did not have the same effect on Italian exports to China”, Italy’s defence minister had said in July.

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