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Wang Yi Relaunches the Belt and Road in Italy

Feb. 17, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi, CPC Political Bureau member and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, invited Italy to take advantage of the Memorandum of Understanding that Italy and China signed on the Belt and Road in 2019, during his meeting in Rome with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani. In a tweet, Tajani wrote that “Italy wants to relaunch bilateral dialogue with China, both in the economic-commercial field, and on global issues, including human rights.”

As for the fake narrative still pushed at the Munich Security Conference, covered elsewhere in this briefing, that China can be pushed to the Western side on the Ukraine war, Tajani told the media that he did his homework.

In the face of a complicated situation like the one in Ukraine, one must insist on finding a “solution acceptable to all.” Wang Yi said, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano, adding: “What China has always done is to promote peace and negotiations.” The more complicated the situation, “the more it is necessary to insist on political and diplomatic efforts to find a solution acceptable to all parties.”

According to Reuters, Wang Yi said that China is ready to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation with Italy, calling the signing of the 2019 Memorandum of Understanding on the New Silk Road with Italy “has greatly improved the strategic level of bilateral relations.”

“Wang Yi also said that China attaches great importance to China-Italy relations. The ancient Silk Road has long connected the two peoples together, and China is willing to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation with Italy to elevate bilateral ties to a higher level,” China’s Ambassador to Italy Jia Guide tweeted, yesterday.

Asked about the Belt and Road Initiative MOU, which was signed in the presence of Xi Jinping in Rome on March, 23, 2019, Tajani said Rome was assessing the issue and would decide what to do “at the appropriate time.”

Italian economist Michele Geraci, a China specialist who organized the BRI memorandum with Beijing, told CGTN Europe’s “The World Today,” that he is confident that the MOU will be renewed at the end of this year. He praised Tajani’s approach of “separating geopolitics from business.” Italy is firmly in the Western alliance, but that does not prevent it from developing economic relations with China. In fact, everybody does so, the United States more than others, he said.

Geraci also explained how the memorandum offers government protection for Italian business in China and Chinese business in Italy, as well as for joint ventures in third countries in Africa, for instance.

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