Beijing/Rome: The US National Security Council lashed out at Italy for participation in the OBOR scheme ‘One Belt One Road (OBOR) is a scheme started by China for enhancing its interests. Italy is one of the leading economies of the world and a very important country for investment. Participating in the OBOR, Italy is supporting the dangerous Chinese position on investment. Italian people will not benefit from this partnership. On the other hand, this will destroy Italy’s image at the international level.’
Chinese President Xi Jinping is embarking on his Europe visit from Thursday, and he will be visiting the countries, Italy and Monaco. During the visit, Italy and China will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the OBOR project. According to this agreement, Italy will be borrowing money from China for the development of infrastructure. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has confirmed this. Along with Prime Minister Conte, Deputy Prime Minister, Luigi De Mayo has also endorsed the agreement with China.
But the United States and the European Union seem to be opposed to this agreement between Italy and China. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Union reminded Italy of the Chinese debt noose ‘If the European countries are going to be provided funding through the OBOR scheme, it means that they will not have to repay any loans. It is necessary for the concerned people to understand that there are no free lunches, in this world.’
Italian participation in the Chinese OBOR scheme, is more important for the Chinese rulers, than Italy. In the last two years, China is only receiving successive jolts in the OBOR projects. Not a single major economy in the world is willing to participate in this scheme, whereas countries like Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar and Bangladesh are trying to withdraw from this scheme. The United States, the United Kingdom, European Union, Japan, Australia and India are bitterly opposed to the scheme, and the other countries are also being cautioned and forced to leave the scheme.
At this juncture, Italy, whose economy is a part of G7, joining the scheme, in a major fillip for the Chinese rulers and the OBOR scheme. But looking at the opposition from the United States and Europe, it will not be an easy path to tread, for both Italy and China.