Italy Offers China Strategic Bridge into Western Europe

By Iain Mills, on , Briefing

BEIJING -- Forty years after the establishment of modern diplomatic ties between Italy and China, Rome has become one of Beijing's most-trusted partners in Western Europe. Following recent high-level talks in both capitals, the two countries have enhanced cooperation in a range of areas. With China keen to increase its influence in the Eastern Mediterranean and Italy in desperate need of fresh economic impetus, the potential benefits to both sides could be significant.

In contrast to China's engagement with resource-rich and emerging nations, its interest in Italy is motivated by the Mediterranean country's geographic advantages and advanced technological capabilities. Since launching the Italy-China Governmental Committee in May 2004, the two sides have expanded bilateral ties apace. The Italians have cooperated with the Chinese on numerous environmental, research and training projects, and have cultivated defense and trade ties. ...

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