Italy Calls E.U. To Adapt Policy That Ease Member Deals With China

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after signing trade agreements at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy March 23, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

Italy's government minister advised the divided European Union to adapt its trade policies to allow its member states to easily conduct business with China. Some members of the bloc, especially the allies of the United States, are concerned with the entrance of China to the European market.

Undersecretary of state at Italy's Ministry of Economic Development, Michele Geraci, said that the European Commission needs to consider the individual trading interests of member countries in crafting the common policy of the block.

The undersecretary said that they will make sure that the European trade policy, not just with China but with the rest of their partners, is more analyzed on a country-by-country level.

Recently, President Xi Jinping visited Italy in its aim to improve the economic and trade ties of China and the European bloc. Italy confirmed its membership to China's One Belt One Road policy despite the criticisms and warnings of the United States.

However, the United States and some Italians rejected the deals with China as they claim that the country is a threat to the national security of Italy.

Garret Marquis, a White House official wrote in his Twitter that Rome, one of the allies of the United States, has no need to join the new Silk Road proposed by China. Luigi Di Maio, the deputy prime minister of Italy, said before taking part to the Italian-Chinese economic forum in Rome that China and Rome's relationship will not go beyond trade as he pledged that they will remain an ally to the western nation. He also assured Rome's continuous relationship with NATO and the European Union.

Geraci, however, believes that the European bloc's policy is to maximize the benefit of Europe as a whole when they discuss trade policy with China because Europe is a single market. The undersecretary added that they want to add analysis on a country by country level because only then will the citizens of Europe see clearly the potential for trade with China.

Italy is considered the Trojan horse of China to the European market since it is the first European Union member to sign up for China's Belt and Road Initiative during the visit of President Xi to Europe in March. Italy's support for the trade and investment plan of the Asian economic giant cemented the positive relationship between them.

According to President Xi, China's relationship with Italy is excellent and the China-Italian common interests are the basis for a fruitful future.

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