Geraci Explains to Media, the Italy-China MOU Is Just a Beginning
March 26, 2019 (EIRNS)—In various interviews since Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy, Michele Geraci, the architect of the Italy-China Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road, explained to media what the MOU is and celebrated Italy’s decision to take European leadership in the Belt and Road.
The MOU is “just a beginning,” he explained. It was the product of an effort by Italy’s two Deputy Prime Ministers, Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini, and was endorsed by State President Sergio Mattarella, Geraci said. This is not the first time that Italy has taken the lead. In 1970, Rome was among the first countries to diplomatically recognize the People’s Republic of China. At that time, Italy was criticized as well from the U.S. Today, Italy has given a “new acceleration.”
The MOU is of a commercial nature, but of course one can read it politically. This, however, is more on the Chinese side than the Italian side. In fact, the MOU is not an obligation for Italy. Nor is it an obligation for the Chinese either, but “they move as if there were an obligation.” This is because China is a “statist” system, and therefore, when Xi Jinping does something, Chinese companies tend to follow what their “director general” says and does.
Italy is taking a leadership role for the first time in the EU, Geraci pointed out. When you take a step forward, there is necessarily an imbalance, but that is good, that is normal, he said. “Tomorrow, Macron, Merkel and Juncker meet with Xi Jinping. They did not tell us in advance. Now, I would like to see them being criticized the way we were,” Geraci remarked ironically.