(Holly Ellyatt – CNBC)
Italy’s decision to be the first major European economy to join China’s massive investment and infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), can only exacerbate tensions between Italy and its neighbors.
On Saturday, President Xi Jinping and the Italian government signed a non-binding agreement for Italy to join China’s trade route and inked a total of 29 deals worth 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) across an array of sectors. Italy hopes the project will boost its sluggish economy but the deal raised more than just eyebrows in Europe and the U.S. with officials criticizing the move.
The BRI is something of a 21st century Silk Road with the sea and land route stretching from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and now into Europe — with Italy being the first Group of Seven (G-7) country to sign up to the global infrastructure and development project. Click here to read more.
- Xi Leaves Rome With Fruitful Results, MoU on BRI Included (Xinhua)
- Italy Signs Up to China’s Global Infrastructure Plan Despite U.S. Ire (Wall Street Journal)
- Debt-Laden Italy Eyes China’s BRI, Risking More Than Just the Wrath of Trump (SCMP)
- Italian Move to Join China’s Belt and Road Coup for Beijing (Associated Press)
- Why Europe Shouldn’t Fall for American Hype Against China’s Belt and Road Plan (SCMP)