In the context of the Italian, Chinese and European flags, many Chinese and Italian ministers and business leaders signed in Villa Madama 29 separate agreements that marked the culmination of Xi`s visit to Rome, where he was hailed as a valued ally and, as critics have said, as a conqueror. Even government critics have argued that the agreement gives Italy a chance to catch up with Germany and France, which had far more business with China than Italy. The agreements signed in Rome are amid the question of whether Chinese company Huawei should be allowed to set up vital communication networks, after the United States expressed concerns about Beijing`s ability to help Beijing spy on the West. It has been said that the MoU is proof of Italy`s growing replacement in relation to its European partners, not to mention the fact that Italy is not the first EU country to have signed this agreement; It`s the fourteenth. Italy is not even the first of the EU`s founding countries to have signed it – it was Luxembourg, the birthplace of EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, who, in the months leading up to the signing of the Protocol, criticised Italy by setting off the alarm about possible disasters that had been solved. But no one noticed that he was so unhappy when the Prime Minister of Luxembourg tacitly signed the same type of MoU in April in Hainan. Who knows what they think of Beijing? Italy`s former centre-left government expressed the first overtures to the agreement, with former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni attending a BIS summit, but it was eventually led by the five-star Movement, the Eurosceptic party, which came to power last June. The party believes Italy`s agreement will revive the stagnant economy, make urgent investments in the country`s ports and infrastructure, and boost exports to China`s lucrative but overcrowded market. It is the first group of the seven industrialized countries to support this massive project – an ambitious trade and infrastructure programme in which Beijing has made significant investments in ports, roads, airports and railways in Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. In recent decades, China has already financed a number of infrastructure projects in Italy involving railways, roads and ports. Chinese construction companies were financed by loans from Chinese banks.
In 2019 alone, Chinese imports to Italy accounted for more than double Italy`s exports to China. “This is an agreement I absolutely wanted, because it will help advance our Made in Italy and our excellence in a market we have not reached.