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Italy expresses concern over the Belt and Road Project

China claims that the ‘Belt and Road’ project with Italy is successful with an influx of Italian goods in the Chinese market

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, states that the Beijing-led Belt and Road project has been successful. There has been an input of high-quality Italian goods into the Chinese market. According to reports, there are thousands of Italian goods in Chinese households. However, Rome seems skeptical of these claims. 

(Image Source: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

Wang Yi met with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani earlier this week. Wang says that the friendship between Italy and China has endured. The friendship was established due to the success of the Silk Route a thousand years ago. 

According to reports, the trade between Italy and China has increased over the last five years. The trading average has increased from $50 billion to $80 billion. Italy has increased its exports to China by 30%. 

Italy is the first major Western nation to join the trading project. It joined the Belt and Road project in 2019. The project encapsulates the idea of the ancient Silk Route that linked imperial China with the Western world. 

President Xi Jinping had announced the project a decade ago. Of all the Group of Seven powers, Italy was the only country to sign up for the project. However, there are some doubts regarding the membership and its success. 

Tajani states that bilateral trade between the two countries has not improved significantly. He says that the project did not bring in the expected results and that a revaluation was required. It will determine whether they will renew their membership or not. 

Potential conflict between Italy and China

The Belt and Road Project membership lasts for five years. Italy has until December to formally withdraw from the agreement. The term for the current membership will end in March 2024. 

Any losses suffered during the functioning of the Belt and Road project will be a diplomatic embarrassment for China. According to sources, China will showcase the achievements of the project at an international forum in October. 

Wang states that all business deals should be mutually respectful and that both nations should be open and cooperative. He says the country will turn with the times and display openness and a win-win situation for both parties.

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