News analysis

China wooing Italy - amid challenging times with EU

Winning over Italians to Belt and Road Initiative will be major boost for Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Italy today for a state visit at a time when China's relations with the European Union are increasingly strained.

Italy is coming under pressure not to endorse major Chinese encroachments on Europe's infrastructure market and, for the first time, the EU's own diplomatic service has publicly referred to China as an "economic competitor" and a "systemic rival".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2019, with the headline 'China wooing Italy - amid challenging times with EU'. Print Edition | Subscribe