Italy has reportedly informed China of its intention to withdraw from the Belt and Road Initiative, a flagship project led by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a high-stakes meeting at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in India. The decision, communicated privately by Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to China’s Premier Li Qiang, underscores the shifting dynamics in global infrastructure partnerships.
According to an individual familiar with the matter who wished to remain anonymous, Prime Minister Meloni informed Premier Li about Italy’s plan to exit the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, which Italy officially joined in 2019. The move signifies a significant pivot in Italy’s international relations, especially concerning its ties with the United States.
The Italian government had been deliberating on how to communicate its withdrawal from the global infrastructure pact, as it was concerned about potential trade retaliation. Earlier this year, Bloomberg had reported Italy’s intent to withdraw from the initiative, but Prime Minister Meloni had faced the delicate challenge of conveying this decision to Beijing while minimizing the risk of adverse consequences.
Prime Minister Meloni is said to have stated that Italy aims to maintain amicable relations with China despite its exit from the Belt and Road project. She has been cautious in her approach, mindful of the potential implications for trade and international relations.
In the face of this decision, Prime Minister Meloni has confirmed her upcoming visit to China in the coming months, emphasizing the sensitivity of the issue. China’s ambassador to Italy had previously issued warnings of “negative consequences” should Italy decide to withdraw from the agreement.
Italy’s decision to exit the Belt and Road Initiative underscores the evolving landscape of international partnerships and geopolitics, as countries weigh the potential benefits and risks of participation in major global infrastructure projects. It also signals Italy’s desire to navigate its foreign policy in a manner that aligns with its strategic interests and international relationships.
Sources By Agencies