The Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano reviewed Chinese media reactions to the Italian government’s recent decision to withdraw from the Belt and Road Memorandum.
“What Italy doesn’t want, China is ready to give to someone else,” writes the online news channel Overseas Talk. “Who is hiding behind this move? Washington, of course,” writes Knews. The director of Zhejiang University’s Mediterranean Research Institute Ma Xiaolin, when asked by the local newspaper Zhejiang Daily, pointed out that “joining the Silk Road was done on the basis of the historical and cultural origins that the two countries share and brought enormous benefits to Italy.” Ma called statements about the project’s ineffectiveness “flimsy,” describing Rome’s attitude as “contradictory.” Italy demonstrated, according to Ma, that it was simply “a succubus of Washington.”
Italy’s BRI Memorandum architect, former Undersecretary of State for Development Michele Geraci, blasted the “ignorance” and “incompetence” of Italian government officials, from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who made the decision this month to exit the MOU. “When trying to explain the reasons for their decision, they have only managed to repeat some set phrases with no logical verbal linkage to their decision for exiting the BRI. Especially Tajani has made some statements that indicate his knowledge of trade dynamics and benefits is below that of a first year student in economics.”