Italy tells China it is leaving Belt and Road Initiative

Italy tells China it is leaving Belt and Road Initiative

World

Italy tells China it is leaving Belt and Road Initiative

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy has officially informed China that it is quitting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), two government sources told Reuters on Wednesday, ending months of doubt over Rome's future in the ambitious project.

Italy in 2019 became the first and so far only major Western nation to join the programme, dismissing concerns from the United States that it would enable China to gain control of sensitive technologies and vital infrastructure.

However, when Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni took office last year, she said she wanted to withdraw from the deal, which is modelled on the old Silk Road that linked China to the West, saying it had brought no significant gains to Italy.

The 2019 accord expires in March 2024 and would have been automatically renewed unless Rome gave at least three months' written warning that it was pulling out.

A government source said Beijing had been given a letter "in recent days" informing the Chinese government that Italy would not be renewing the pact. 




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