On Sunday, the 10th of March 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Luigi Di Maio said that Italy had been hankering after joining the giant “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan of China in order to bolster Italian exports, not to tap a political tie-up with the Asian giant.
Di Maio’s comment came forth, as a response to White House’s concerns over its yearning on the “Belt and Road” infrastructure, as a spokesman for the White House group of National Security Advisers, Garrett Marquis had said on Saturday (March 9th) that the Chinese voyage through Europe had been a “vanity project” and its close ally Italy should step off, raising an alarm bell on which seemingly appeared to be harmless.
In the face of a key ally of US supporting a Chinese initiative, Di Maio had actually been responding to US concerns on his Sunday’s (March 10th) speech. In fact, the “Belt and Road” initiative had been a landmark breakthrough and a brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, while the project aims to link China with Southeast Asia alongside Central Asia with the Middle East, Europe, and Africa through infrastructure networks over the existing lines of ancient silk roads through both sea and land.
Addressing to US concerns on Italy’s desire to join the “Belt and Road”, Di Maio commented at an event organized by supporters of his 5-star movement, “I have heard the alarm being raised from the United States yesterday about this deal on the Silk Road that Italy wants to sign with China.
Let it be clear that, if we are looking at the Silk Road towards China for our exports, it is not to strike a political deal with China but only to help our companies”.