Simone Dossi


During Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in March 2019, Italy and China signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As Italy was the first G7 country to formally join the BRI, the Memorandum caused alarm in the United States and Europe. The paper explains why Italy and China, apparently so distant from both a political and an economic point of view, opted for cooperation under the BRI. It concludes that, in order to seize the opportunities provided by the BRI and reduce the associated risks, Italy needs a long-term vision for the future of its relations with China, and a more structured and permanent public debate on its China policy.