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Leaders of China and Italy shake hands before their talks in Rome

The Italians learn Chinese: should others in the EU follow their lead?

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s March visit to Rome, Italy and China signed a set of agreements that brings the former very close to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative community. France, Germany and the United States expressed dismay, and their reaction will probably further marginalize Italy’s role within the Western alliance. Realistically, however, such a deal may be in Italy’s vital interest, given its deteriorating economy and financial conditions. Before long, Europe, too, may find itself groping for new powerful partners.

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