Silk Road, debt trap and Meloni’s choice

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the New Silk Road theorized by President Xi Jinping ten years ago, has returned to Italian political debate. The end of the Memorandum of Understanding that has linked Rome to Beijing since 2019 is demoralizing supporters of the agreement, to which the yellow-green government led by Giuseppe Conte has blindly adhered. A controversial participation due to the sudden decision to be the only G7 country participating in the Chinese megaproject.

The incomprehensibility and ambiguity of the terms of the contract caused many to raise their eyebrows on the occasion of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2019. Many have expressed concern about the shadow cones of Chinese loans given to fragile economies to build roads, bridges, stadiums and hospitals under the banner of the BRI, with large economic donations on opaque terms. It is the so-called “debt trap” that poses a real risk to debtor countries. A system that allows various Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) investing in BRI projects to tap into the assets of countries with high debt to the Asian giant. However, several studies have highlighted Beijing’s attempt to renegotiate its debts rather than hand over its public infrastructure.

What happened to China’s New Silk Road?

Guo Weimin, spokesman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (the advisory body of the Chinese parliament, one of the country’s two main chambers), has been called upon to formalize the decisions made and to be taken by the Chinese Communist Party leadership. He described accusations from China regarding the creation of a “debt trap” with the Belt and Road Initiative as “baseless”. Guo said the initiative “has achieved fruitful results and continues to see increased international support”.

At a press conference to present the work of the Conference, which will begin tomorrow and end on March 11, Guo added that “concrete cooperation has developed” since it was launched in January 2016 and that the Belt and Road now supports a “stable and credible framework”. “Many say that China created the debt trap, but these are baseless and malicious accusations: we will continue to improve risk prevention and control,” the spokesperson added.

The words of the spokesperson for the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference also reached Italy, where Oliviero Diliberto, the former Minister of Justice of the two D’Alema governments and now dean of the Sapienza University of Rome Law School, lauded. Xi China and the Silk Road. The former minister, who was the guest of an official and guest of the re-activated Chinese media, says it is an “extraordinary global initiative”.
By the Italian Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

Thus, China relaunches the New Silk Road in Italy

It’s in Italian but has Chinese subtitles. “Italy should seize the opportunity to continue to be deeply involved in the Belt and Road Initiative,” says Diliberto, who is not one to be in the Chinese political and legal environment. In fact, the former minister holds the chair of Roman Law at Wuhan University and is one of the curators of the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China, which came into effect on January 1, 2021. It contains a history in the Italian Communist Party) may serve to instill confidence in the Chinese people and strengthen the Italian debate on the Silk Road. He is clearly in favor of the Chinese initiative.

Source: Today IT