cover image: Italy’s BRIexit: Not All Roads Lead to Beijing


Italy’s BRIexit: Not All Roads Lead to Beijing

13 Jun 2024

Introduction Launched in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship scheme, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also called the ‘New Silk Road’, seeks to rebuild the historical trade and infrastructural links between China and the rest of the world. Projects under the BRI include networks of ports, power plants, roads, bridges, dams, railways, and telecommunication networks. According to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the BRI “aims to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks, and realise diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries.” [1] Touted by Xi as the “project of the century”, the initiative has already attracted investments amounting to US$1 trillion, making China the world’s largest bilateral lender, [2] linked to two-thirds of the global population. [3] A World Bank report estimates that cooperation through the BRI could lift nearly 80 million people from poverty. [4]
china european union infrastructure investments italy international affairs world bank poverty reduction xi jinping connectivity new silk road bri 150 countries


Shairee Malhotra

Shairee Malhotra, “Italy’s BRIexit: Not All Roads Lead to Beijing,” ORF Occasional Paper No. 441 , June 2024, Observer Research Foundation.
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