Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government says joining China’s Belt and Road program four years ago under a previous government had done little to boost Italian exports, while Chinese exports to Italy had soared.

Rome is the only major Western power to join Belt and Road initiative.

Critics have long claimed it’s a tool for China to spread its geopolitical and economic influence.

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Italy, largest economy to sign China's Belt & Road pact, weighs how to exit the initiative | DW News

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