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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is speaking out about Italy’s reported willingness to sign onto the People’s Republic of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, telling Breitbart News that reports of the Italians’ openness to joining the Communist Party of China program is “stunningly naive.”
Rubio’s comments come in the wake of reports that Italy is signing onto the Belt and Road Initiative of Chinese president Xi Jinping later this month, which would make Italy the first G-7 nation to join the program.
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“Italy’s reported desire to curry favor with the Communist Chinese government by endorsing the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is stunningly naive,” Rubio told Breitbart News. “China’s goal is simple – undermine foreign competition by stealing intellectual property and trade secrets, and artificially propping up Chinese state-directed actors at the expense of its trading ‘partners’. As we in the U.S. are learning, the long-term economic and national security risks far outweigh any increases in Chinese foreign investment or increased exports to China. Until the Chinese government fundamentally alters its goals and methods, the U.S. and its allies should remain wary of tighter economic engagement.”
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an effort by Beijing to build economic, cultural, and political influence through Eurasia, across mainland Asia into the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The Financial Times broke the news of Italy’s reported desire to agree to China’s plans, quoting Michele Geraci–an undersecretary in Italy’s economic development industry–as saying that Rome intended to sign a memorandum of understanding with Beijing soon about the program.
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“The negotiation is not over yet, but it is possible that it will be concluded in time for [Xi’s] visit,” Geraci said, per the Financial Times. “We want to make sure that ‘Made in Italy’ products can have more success in terms of export volume to China, which is the fastest-growing...
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