Recently, the Italian government officially notified the Chinese authorities of its formal withdrawal from Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to information from Corriere della Sera, Rome conveyed its intentions to China through a letter, abstaining from detailing the reasons behind this decision.
In recent years, several political analysts, including figures like Fernando Diaz and Ian Bremmer, contend that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved into a key endeavor for Chinese leader Xi Jinping, aiming to extend Beijing’s influence globally. Numerous reports highlight Italy as a pivotal element in China’s expansion into Europe, following the establishment of its geopolitical presence not only in Africa and Asia but also in various regions of Latin America.
In an effort to amend its participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) before the renewal deadline, the Italian government made attempts. However, the Chinese regime dismissed the proposals from Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, prompting the decision to exit the partnership.
During the leadership of former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Italy made history by being the inaugural G7 member to formally enroll in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2019. This decision came with assurances of substantial Chinese investments in Italy, fostering heightened economic growth for the European nation.
Nevertheless, numerous Italian politicians asserted that despite various investment projects initiated by Chinese entrepreneurs in Italian ports, a considerable number of the pledges went unrealized. Reports from local media even suggested that China was utilizing the ports as a launching pad for its fleet of merchant ships in Europe.
Many media sources have observed that Italy’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) brought significant challenges for the European nation. The Communist Party of China utilized this partnership as a means to promote its favored narratives within the Italian media landscape.
In 2021, a well-known newspaper, owned by the family of former conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, began publishing content created by the Chinese regime without disclosing this information to its readers.
Italy’s primary news agency, Ansa, even began disseminating news wires from China’s Xinhua news service, sparking controversy and leading many politicians to assert that the nation was under Beijing’s influence.