Chinese President Xi will visit Italy from 22-24 March and is expected to sign Silk Road deals with the Southern European country despite public American pressure on Rome to reconsider. The US National Security Council tweeted a warning last weekend that "Endorsing BRI lends legitimacy to China's predatory approach to investment and will bring no benefits to the Italian people", using the popular abbreviation of the Belt & Road Initiative by which the Silk Road is officially known.
This unprecedented message amounts to an audacious attempt to unashamedly influence Italy's domestic and foreign affairs despite the US harping on for the past few years about Russia's allegedly clandestine efforts to do the same in the American homeland, signaling a desperation on the part of the US' permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (or "deep state") to stop what might stand to be a game-changing geopolitical development next week.
Geopolitical analyst and Director of Eurasia Future Adam Garrie analyzed in a previous piece that Italy could serve as the Chinese-backed bridge facilitating European-African trade, while Pepe Escobar — another prominent geopolitical analyst and writer at Asia Times — recently shared his insight into how the Chinese could use forthcoming investments in the port of Venice to complement their engagement with Central Europe and the broader 16+1 platform that connects it to the region.
It's noteworthy to point out that Italy's official participation in BRI's global vision of New Silk Road connectivity would mark the first time that a G7 country endorsed this initiative, and it would also imply that this massive economy probably wouldn't have any problem with Huawei expanding its presence there either despite American accusations that it's supposedly a front for Chinese intelligence gathering. Italy's insistence on going through with this anyhow is therefore a serious challenge to US hegemony.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Anna Lutskova De Bacci, Italian nobility, Founder & CEO of MareLucci, Political Commentator at Eurasia Future, and Spokesperson at FERW and Roberto Vivaldelli, Italian political observer.
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