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Leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni waves to the people

REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Ciao Ciao China!

All belts are off now in Italy. On Wednesday, Rome officially withdrew from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s signature global infrastructure, trade, and investment scheme.

Flashback: In 2019, Italy – then governed by a strongly euroskeptic coalition– became the only G7 country to officially join BRI. For China, it was a coup to bring aboard Europe’s third-largest and the world’s seventh-largest economy. Rome, for its part, hoped for a bonanza of trade and inbound investment from Beijing.

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