G20, Meloni meets Chinese PM: soft farewell to Silk Road

A formal decision will be taken in the coming weeks by Parliament, but it is now clear that Italy intends to abandon the Silk Road Memorandum. The government is ready to turn the page, leaving behind the agreement signed in March 2019 by the Conte executive, which establishes collaboration with China in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. Collaboration that will be dissolved by December to avoid an automatic five-year renewal. To smooth the exit from Xi Jinping’s geoeconomic project, Rome intends to strengthen and consolidate relations in the context of that Global Strategic Partnership shared with Beijing, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary next year. Giorgia Meloni also discussed this issue with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in New Delhi.

And on the occasion of the first direct contact between the two heads of government, informs a note from Palazzo Chigi, “the common intention to consolidate and deepen dialogue on the main bilateral and international issues was confirmed”. The strategic partnership will therefore constitute “the beacon for the advancement of friendship and collaboration between the two Nations in all sectors of common interest”. According to what was reported on social media by the Chinese ambassador in Rome, Jia Guide, Li Qiang stated during the conversation with Meloni that “a healthy and stable relationship between China and Italy is in line with the common interests of both countries and is necessary for better development of countries.”

Furthermore, the Chinese premier said, “Italy is expected to provide a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies to invest and develop in Italy.” China, he concluded, “will continue to expand market access to create more opportunities for quality Italian products to enter the Chinese market.” The meeting with Li Qiang in India is the umpteenth stage of the journey undertaken by Meloni to archive one of the most delicate dossiers that the government has to manage. After the visit of the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, to Beijing in recent days, followed closely by those of Ministers Santanché (Tourism) and Berini (University), it will be the Prime Minister’s turn to go to the country do Dragão in the coming months, where the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella is also expected in January, on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s death.

During the first day of the G20 meeting, Meloni sent a message to Morocco hit by a violent earthquake that caused more than a thousand deaths. “I learned with pain the tragic price”, he explained, expressing “closeness and solidarity” to Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, “to the families of the victims and the Moroccan people”, and expressing “Italy’s total availability to support Morocco in this emergency”. The Prime Minister also met with her host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom she congratulated him on the “success of the summit” that gave the green light to the entry of the African Union as a permanent member. “Italy – recalled Meloni – has been a strong supporter of its accession process and is firmly convinced that its inclusion in this group is strategic to strengthen our ability to face global challenges, starting precisely with environmental and energy ones”. The Prime Minister then spoke at the opening session of the summit, focused on climate, energy, the environment and sustainable development, stressing that “the response to climate change must truly concern everyone, otherwise thinking that it can bring appreciable results ​It’s pure utopia.”

Source: IL Tempo