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Gov't Officially Withdraws From China Belt & Road Initiative


(MNI) London-Italy's Corriere Della Sera reporting that the gov't of PM Giorgia Meloni has officially notified Beijing of its intention to withdraw from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) after four years of participation. Corriere: "...after weeks of confidential negotiations [...] Italy produced a verbal note [...], and delivered it in Beijing to the Chinese government authorities . Three days ago , without communicating anything publicly, as in agreement with the Chinese authorities, Rome withdrew after four years from the [BRI]". Speculation regarding Italy's place in BRI has been swirling for several months, making the actual withdrawal less of a surprise for markets.

  • Italy was the only G7 member to join the BRI, under former PM Giuseppe Conte. Since then, relations between Beijing and the West have deteriorated significantly on the trade, economic, security, and political fronts.
  • The Meloni gov't has sought to reassure its Western partners that Italy is a reliable partner, and as such has for several months mooted a withdrawal from BRI. However, with China a major investor into Italy this had to be done with care as not to significantly damage bilateral ties. The lack of official announcement of the withdrawal will be viewed as one part of Rome's efforts not to completely sever links with Beijing.

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