Italy is the first developed economy that has step forth to becoming a member of China’s Silk Road Project.
During Chinese president Xi Jinping’s stay in Rome, he signed a total of 29 deals worth £2.5 billion. This new project is similar to the Silk Road, which connected China to Europe in the ancient times.
The new Silk Road project is another name for China’s Belt Road Initiative. Through this project, China aims to invest in infrastructure projects all across the globe. Doing so, China will be able to substantially boost its trade.
According to some critics, this is a brave move on China’s part and it will allow the country to strengthen its strategic influence.
This project includes a series of roads, railways and ports. Chinese construction firms have been given contracts to connect ports and cities through loans by different Chinese banks.
Italy has become the first country among the developed economies of the world to take money from China. Despite the fact that Italy is one of the 10 largest economies in the world, Rome considers itself to be in a critical state.
Italy’s economy has suffered a great deal from the collapse of the Genoa Bridge, which killed several people. This incident has created a major problem for Italy’s infrastructure, for the very first time in decades.
The populist government in Italy initially had big plans, but due to a standoff with the European Union, they were forced to step back.
Italy’s inclusion is being viewed critically by the right wing in Italy. The right wing leader Mr. Salvini expressed his concerns over Italy’s inclusion in the Silk Road Project. He said that one must think a hundred times before taking such a decision that would allow foreign businesses to colonize Italy.
Responding to the critique, Mr. Di Maio said that he is doing it strictly for the betterment of his country. He further added that by doing so, he does not mean to override the country’s European partners. He also said that he is a strong ally of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance and NATO.
According to Peter Frankopan of the University of Oxford and a writer on the Silk Road, this move by Italy is highly symbolic. He also said that this move by Italy will benefit China and also show that China has a crucial role to play on the global landscape.