Between Washington and Beijing: Italy at the center of the geopolitical chessboard

Par Cesare Sacchetti

Since last week, Italy seems to be in the eye of an unprecedented geopolitical storm. Last Saturday, the US National Security Council tweeted against Italy’s possible signing of the Chinese Belt Road Initiative. According to the NSC, “Italy by endorsing BRI, lends legitimacy to China’s predatory approach to investment that will bring no benefits to the Italian people.” Some Italian political analysts lashed out at this statement, which was considered to be America’s meddling into Italy’s national affairs. But why is Washington so concerned about the BRI implementation? Most importantly, why should Italy fear the Chinese BRI project?

What is the BRI?  

The BRI is an infrastructural project launched in 2013 by the Chinese President, Xi Jin Ping. It aims to connect China to Europe through the building of ports, roads and power plants. The core idea of this ambitious initiative is to widen the Chinese commercial influence by increasing Beijing’s export capacity. But due to several controversies in the last few years, concerns have arisen, especially from Japan, US and India. Their fear is what appears to be, in their view, a predatory form of economic colonization. Many countries unfortunately have experienced serious problems by … Read More