G20 Summit: Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, informed her Chinese colleague Li Qiang on Sunday that her country intends to withdraw from China‘s expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to Bloomberg. On the eve of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and spoke about bilateral relations. The Li-Meloni encounter took on importance since the Italian government publicly declared its desire to leave the BRI, claiming that Beijing’s renowned multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan has not benefited Rome.
Italy’s Decision to Exit the Belt and Road Initiative
Meloni informed Li during their discussion that Italy intends to leave Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s Belt and Road Initiative while still aiming to keep amicable ties with Beijing. Italy formally joined the agreement in 2019. Antonio Tajani, the foreign minister of Italy, spoke out against the BRI after visiting Beijing on September 5 and claimed that it “did not bring the results we expected” and that several Italian parties were opposed to Italy’s participation. China has announced intentions to host the third BRI meeting in Beijing the following month.
Meloni’s December Deadline for BRI Decision
Meloni had earlier stated that the BRI decision-making deadline for her government was December. Even though Italy is a part of the BRI, she had called it a “paradox” that it is not the G7 nation with the strongest trading ties to China. Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto had claimed in July that Italy’s decision to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) four years ago was “improvised and atrocious” because it accomplished little to increase exports. Italy was the only significant Western nation to join the BRI when it did so under a previous administration.
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