Meloni at the G20, the new corridor with Asia instead of the Silk Road

It aims to be the alternative to the Chinese Silk Road: it is the new economic corridor project between India, the Middle East and Europe, signed in New Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 work. A network of railways, ports and energy connections: a megaproject that became reality, after months of secret negotiations, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the countries involved: United States, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, France , Italy and the European Union. In New Delhi, the satisfaction of the protagonists was palpable. President Joe Biden did not hide his “pride”, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni added that Italy is committed to working on this during Italy’s G7 presidency next year. Italy’s accession is particularly important considering that our government intends to abandon the Silk Road, as Meloni himself made known to the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Qiang, in the bilateral meeting they had on the sidelines of the G20.

The new corridor seeks to reconfigure trade between countries in Europe, the Persian Gulf and South Asia, significantly reducing the time needed to transport goods between these nations. Furthermore, it aims to increase energy cooperation between signatory countries and improve their Internet connections. To this end, a gas pipeline will be created through which green hydrogen will circulate, infrastructure will be built to connect the electrical grids of different countries and submarine and terrestrial cables will be installed to facilitate the rapid exchange of data. Despite the ambition of the project, the memorandum of understanding only outlines the objectives to maintain my commitment to travel to China. I hope that as soon as possible, there is no date yet, the invitation is reiterated, but I think it makes more sense to go when we have more elements on how to strengthen our bilateral cooperation and how to move forward”.

The Prime Minister also addressed the topic of the agreement signed in 2019 by the then Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte: «I was very happy with the cordial and constructive atmosphere in which the meeting with the Chinese Prime Minister, whom I did not know, took place. There was also talk of the Silk Road, but not only that. We have a strategic partnership with China and so, yes, there is the theme of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, but it is not the only element that builds our bilateral relationship with China. The question is how to continue to guarantee, regardless of the choices we make in the “Belt and Road Initiative”, a partnership that can be advantageous for Italy. In foreign policy, pragmatism always wins in most cases, I trust that will be the case. It seems to me that there is a desire to continue the dialogue.”

Meloni also wanted to put other challenges on the table for the signing of the Silk Road agreement with China, which expires on December 31st. The Italian government does not intend to renew it due to issues that will have to be addressed in the near future. One of these is artificial intelligence, which will be at the heart of the G7’s work under the Italian presidency, which will begin on January 1. “It is urgent to resolve this issue or we risk arriving too late and this could have dehumanizing and critical impacts on our societies,” said the prime minister. During the Italian presidency of the G7, Meloni added, “we intend to recall the ethical principles underlying the development of artificial intelligence that can form the basis of a regulatory framework. We need regulation at a global level. There needs to be greater focus from world leaders. The development of technology is very fast and, sometimes, I have the impression that our ability to manage problems is not so fast. We cannot fail to consider the impact of artificial intelligence, we were used to progress that optimized human skills, today we run the risk of finding ourselves faced with progress that replaces human skills. In the past, physical work was replaced, today it is the intellect that is at risk of being replaced. It is a reflection that deserves concentration and speed.”

Source: IL Tempo