Italy: China’s Trojan Horse into Europe
Italy: China’s Trojan Horse into Europe by Giulio Meotti for GateStone Institute
- Chinese leaders “believe they have a narrow window of strategic opportunity to strengthen their rule and revise the international order in their favor”. — Former U.S. National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.
- “Europe has now become the buffer zone for the confrontation between China and the United States”. — Pierre-Henri d’Argenson, Le Figaro, April 28, 2020.
- Now, China is trying to dominate southern Europe’s infrastructure. China was already granted a license to run Greece’s largest seaport, Athens’ Piraeus harbor, which Beijing plans to turn into Europe’s biggest commercial harbor. Then China started to project its expansion in Italy’s ports, where four major ports are also in line for Chinese investments.
- The People’s Bank of China… “has steadily amassed stakes above 2 percent (the disclosure threshold in Italy) in a slew of Italy’s largest shareholder-owned companies” China has also invested in strategic Italian energy entities….
- This economic penetration will also have immense security consequences… Italy, which is being lured by the promise of a $3 billion Huawei investment in its telecommunications system, announced that it has no plans to stop Chinese telecom firms playing a role in the country’s future 5G network. It is a project that U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr defined a “monumental danger”.
- Italy will see a collapse of its GDP and the explosion of its public debt… the highest since World War II. Beijing knows this and claims that “Italy has many economic problems, Europe is in crisis and the Belt and Road Initiative is the only major global investment plan”.
|Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, welcomed a plane-load of Chinese medical supplies on March 12. “We will remember those who were close to us in this difficult period”, Di Maio said. It is not necessary, China will remind them. Pictured: Di Maio shows a map of quarantined Italian municipalities as he gives a press conference in Rome, on February 27, 2020. (Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images)|
A few days after China had announced it was sending medical supplies to Italy, Chinese state media aired pictures of Italians on balconies and streets applauding the Chinese national anthem. “In Rome, with the Chinese anthem playing, some Italians chanted ‘Grazie, Cina!’ on their balconies, & their neighbors applauded along”, wrote Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China’s foreign ministry who shamefully and wrongly suggested that the U.S. military had brought the Covid-19 to Wuhan.