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Italy set to join BRI

Italy set to join BRI

Italy is all set to become first G7 country to join ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

Italy’s decision to get closer to Beijing has caused concern amongst its Western allies — notably in Washington, where the White House National Security Council urged Rome not to give” legitimacy to China’s infrastructure vanity project”.

G7: The Group of Seven is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries, with the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth.

What is Belt and Road Initiative?

BRI consisting of the land-based belt, ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, and ‘Maritime Silk Road’, aims to connect the East Asian economic region with the European economic circle and runs across the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.

BRI is China’s ambitious project announced in 2013.

It covers about 65% of the world population, 60% of the world GDP and over 70 countries in six economic corridors.

China is spending almost $1 trillion to revive and renew the overland and maritime trade links between China, Europe, West Asia, and East Africa through construction of modern ports linked to high-speed road and rail corridors.

Why India is worried?

India argues that the BRI and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project violates its sovereignty because it passes through the part of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir that belongs to India.

China is planning to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are eagerly pursuing potential BRI projects.

Tense bilateral relations with China, deep mistrusts and India’s growing concerns over Chinese hegemonic intentions in South Asia and Indo-Pacific region make it practically unlikely that India will ever consider joining this project.

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