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Italy’s BRI Blunder

Although Italy's governing parties are belatedly debating the wisdom of signing onto Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, it is already too late for Italy to change course. Having spurned joint EU efforts to secure Europe's strategic sectors, Italy will soon find that it got a raw deal.

BERLIN – Barring any sudden reversals, Italy will formally endorse China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome this week. Though US President Donald Trump’s administration recently signaled its disapproval of Italy’s engagement with China’s massive transnational infrastructure investment scheme, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed on March 15 that the government will proceed with signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).