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23 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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China’s new Silk Road gets bumpy as Xi visits Italy

AFP, Rome

Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a whistlestop European tour in Rome yesterday amid growing Western unease over Italy joining the ever-expanding Asian giant’s new Silk Road project.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is to sign a memorandum of understanding with Xi on Saturday for Italy to join the $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative, the first G7 member to do so, despite apparent divisions within the ruling coalition.

Italy on Friday rolled out the red carpet for Xi, who met his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella amid great pomp, and was due to head to parliament in the afternoon.

Around 1,000 extra police have been deployed around Rome for the state visit before Xi heads to Palermo, where his singer wife Peng Liyuan reportedly wants to see the Teatro Massimo opera house.

In what some perceived as a snub, Italy’s far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said he would not attend Saturday’s state dinner for Xi at Mattarella’s Quirinal Palace.

Salvini has said Italy would be “no-one’s colony” and urged caution about using telecom giant Huawei’s next generation 5G mobile technology, while coalition partner Luigi Di Maio is keener for Chinese partnerships.

The United States has warned European allies that Huawei could use its 5G technology as a “backdoor” for spying, while China has lashed out at “immoral” attacks.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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