ROME (REUTERS) - Italy has planned to sign a memorandum of understanding to become part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday (March 5).
"The negotiation is not over yet, but it is possible that it will be concluded in time for (Xi's) visit," the newspaper reported, quoting Michele Geraci, the undersecretary in the Italian economic development ministry.
The United States said the project was unlikely to help Italy economically and could significantly damage the country's international image, the paper reported.
"We view BRI as a 'made by China, for China' initiative,"the report quoted Garrett Marquis, White House National Security Council spokesman, as saying.
The Belt and Road initiative, championed by President Xi Jinping, aims to link China by sea and land with south-east and central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, through an infrastructure network on the lines of the old Silk Road.
Aside from boosting trade and investment, Mr Xi aims to boost exchanges in areas such as science, technology, culture and education.