ROME — Italy's government has split over whether to sign onto China’s landmark "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure program that runs across Asia to key European trade hubs. Some 13 EU countries have signed up to China's new Silk Road plan, but Washington and Brussels are deeply concerned that the involvement of G7 heavyweight Rome could lend greater credibility to a project that they view as a strategic threat. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Luigi Di Maio of the 5Star Movement, one of two deputy prime ministers, said a proposed agreement with Beijing — which would not amount to an international treaty — would not undermine Italy's alliances with the U.S. and the EU. Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, who serves as the other deputy prime minister, has taken a more cautious stance, however. He warned this week he would say no to any Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) "colonizing" Italy, and said Rome must "carefully assess the implications for … [Read more...] about Silk Road opens a rift in Italy’s government
China new silk road map
A US National Security Council official has warned Italy against participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to unite European and Asian markets, claiming it adds ‘legitimacy’ to Beijing’s infrastructure project. “Italy is a major global economy and great investment destination,” Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the White House’s national security team, stated on Twitter, after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he would welcome Italy's participation in the BRI. No need for Italian government to lend legitimacy to China’s infrastructure vanity project. “With all the necessary precautions, Italy’s accession to a new silk route represents an opportunity for our country,” Conte said Friday, noting that participation in China’s trade master plan would be up for discussion when President Xi Jinping visits Italy on March 22. Conte also announced his plans to attend a BRI summit in China in … [Read more...] about US advises Italy to steer clear of China’s new Silk Road… because it’s a National Security issue?
Italy is planning to formally back China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It would become the first G7 nation to join the ambitious project which promises to significantly boost global trade. Rome is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding to officially support the project, championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, by the end of March, according to Michele Geraci, undersecretary in Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development as quoted by FT. “The negotiation is not over yet, but it is possible that it will be concluded in time for Xi’s visit,” Geraci told the media. Also on rt.com Italian money to back Russia's liquefied natural gas project in Arctic “We want to make sure that ‘Made in Italy’ products can have more success in terms of export volume to China, which is the fastest-growing market in the world.” The Chinese leader is expected to pay an official visit to Italy on March 22. After … [Read more...] about Italy joining China’s new Silk Road raises eyebrows in Washington
Invasive species have been around for centuries, since the beginning of international trade. But a major new trade route organized by China and spanning 123 countries could accelerate the spread of invasive species like never before, researchers warned Thursday. Officially called China's Belt and Road Initiative, the project was launched five years ago and aims to include about half the planet -- linking Asia, Europe, Africa, Central and South America. Yiming Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences wondered years ago about Beijing's promise that the project would be a "green" initiative. In particular, what would be the consequences for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals? "Perhaps the focus of the authorities has been more on pests and diseases in agriculture, and invasive species is not a popular topic," he told AFP. Li and colleagues in China and Britain developed a model overlapping the regions of the world that would be linked by the new routes, based on trade values, and their … [Read more...] about Invasive species could spell trouble on China’s new ‘Silk Road’
In January 2017 a freight train arrived in Barking in east London, carrying 44 containers of clothes and suitcases to be sold on the high street. This would have been an otherwise unremarkable event but for the fact that it had set off 18 days previously from the heavily polluted city of Yiwu in central Zhejiang province in China, weaved its way through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before popping out of the Channel Tunnel into England’s green and pleasant land. With much fanfare, London became the 15th European city to be connected to China’s One Belt, One Road programme, the 21st-century incarnation of the old Silk Roads – the trading routes that connected a string of peoples and places from across the Eurasian landmass to western Europe, and left an indelible mark on the shape of modern civilisation. According to Peter Frankopan, professor of global history at Oxford, the challenge of a historian or observer of contemporary … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight China’s new trading “Silk Road” will be as influential as the original