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OBOR Italian Institute Chairman Makes Case, the Belt and Road Is a Strategically Stabilizing Factor

June 5, 2019 (EIRNS)—Dr. Michele de Gasperis, chairman of the OBOR Italian Institute (Istituto Italiano OBOR), gave an interview to EIR, in which he emphasizes the strategically stabilizing effect of the Belt and Road Initiative and rejects allegations of Chinese “debt diplomacy.”

De Gasperis, who has recently organized a successful three-day OBOR Exhibition 2019 at the Fiera di Roma trade fair venue, says, among other things, that

“the concept of ‘debt diplomacy’ is generally presented in a fully distorted way; or, better, it is an argument pushed by incompetent elites that underwrite a debt, often beyond their real capacity for repayment, leaving the burden to the next government. In this scenario, I hardly see a fault on the creditor side, but I see instead, as I said, the management incompetence of those who underwrite the debt. Therefore, we must insist on knowledge: Our institute has an active think-tank aimed at giving those tools to small and medium-sized firms, and is also available to concerned institutions.”

Asked to comment on Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s depiction of the BRI as a politically stabilizing factor, a “New Paradigm,” De Gasperis replied:

“I agree, because in my view the BRI, before being a system of economic cooperation, is a system of cultural and peace-bringing cooperation among peoples. I personally participated in many meetings with colleagues from other countries involved in the program, and I can confirm that eliminating cultural barriers and favoring mutual knowledge have been a major facilitator in business activities. As always, people anticipate government choices, and independent of momentary political conveniences, persons, culture, and the economy have already moved. Many things between Italy and China had already started before, including in an unaware way—the notoriety acquired recently by the program in Italy, as further evidence of the need to promote and better know the project.”

De Gasperis also called for a collaboration with other pro-BRI initiatives in other European countries.

“Our mission is to support and defend the Italian national productive system, but we know also that only by joining forces with other countries we can have a positive spinoff in general terms.”

The full text of the interview is being prepared for publication in multiple languages.

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