Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte addresses the Lower Chamber of the Italian parliament in Rome, Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
MILAN – Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has pledged to make Italy the first Group of Seven nation to join China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative despite objections from the United States and doubts within the governing coalition.
Conte insisted Tuesday that Italy’s signature on a memorandum of understanding for the infrastructure-building venture — planned during the Chinese premier’s visit this week — would not “put into question our position” within the strategic trans-Atlantic alliance.
He noted that the memorandum is not legally binding and gives Italian exporters access to the lucrative Chinese market.
Italy’s signature would be considered a major development legitimizing the project that envisions overland and maritime routes connecting China with Europe.
A White House official has warned Italy against joining, calling it a Chinese “vanity project.” / gsg
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.