Italy Wants to Exit the Belt and Road – But Without Curbing Ties With China by Nicola Casarini

02 Oct 2023

In an article published by The Diplomat and written by Nicola Casarini, the author provides a comprehensive overview of recent developments in China-Italy relations.

Casarini states that the Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has announced plans for Italy to exit China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aiming to align Italy’s China policy with the United States and the EU.

According to the author, the official decision to renew or cancel the March 2019 memorandum of understanding (MoU) is expected by the end of 2023. China is lobbying for a silent renewal or postponement to avoid embarrassment during the BRI’s 10th-anniversary celebration in October. Italy’s BRIexit, if successful, would replace the MoU with commercial agreements, maintaining relations with China but without the strategic implications of the BRI.

To this the author adds:

“Italy’s BRIexit will thus be a very important symbolic act, but devoid of much substance regarding economic ties. The central government, companies, and local authorities in Italy will likely continue, and even boost, relations with China across the board – much to the dismay of Italy’s Western allies that were hoping Meloni would “de-risk” from Beijing.”

You can find the full article here.

Image: Luciano Mortula-LGM –