Italy-China, Tajani in Beijing: “The Silk Road? We will evaluate”

The foreign minister in the country between today and 5 September: “Whatever the decision, this will not jeopardize the excellent relations we have”

“We haven’t had great results with the Silk Roadbut that doesn’t matter. We intend to go ahead with the strengthening of trade relations”. Thus the Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajanimeeting the press after attending the mass of the Salesian fathers in Beijing, where he arrived for the mission in China which will last until 5 September next,

“We will evaluate what to do with regard to our participation in the Silk Road, the Parliament will decide, but whatever the decision this will not affect the excellent relations we have”, added Tajani.

As regards the economic relations between Italy and China “there is a strategic partnership which must be valued and supported and which can allow the growth of our industrial presence”.

Announcing that during his mission to China he will meet dozens of Italian industrialists, Tajani expressed his willingness to “strengthen our ties with a large country such as China”, recognizing that even with sometimes “different visions”, the dialogue with Beijing remains “necessary”. The Silk Road memorandum “is only part of the reports we have. There is a strategic partnership that has been going on since 2004, I inaugurate it ‘Silvio Berlusconi, and we must reinvigorate it ”, he added.

“We believe that China can play an important role in achieving peace in the Ukraine. I believe – the minister went on – that the Chinese government can influence Putin so that he returns to milder advice and can give life to a season that leads to a just peace “.

“China can now play a role of peacemaker”, he then specified.

“We must ensure that in theSub-Saharan Africa the situation stabilizes. The coups d’état (in Niger and Gabon, ed) jeopardize this stability a little” and in the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, given their presence in Africa, these issues will be addressed.

“It seems to me that the Russians are trying to take advantage of the coups especially in Niger while it does not seem to me that China is trying to exploit these events,” he added.


The minister’s visit to Beijing began with his participation in the mass of the Salesian Fathers at the Cathedral of the Savior, founded at the beginning of the 17th century and known locally as Xishiku Church.

The cultural agenda of the first part of the mission of the head of the Farnesina is busy, and in the next few hours he will visit the commemorative stele of Father Matteo Ricci in the Zhalan cemetery. Li Madou, the Chinese name of Father Matteo, was a Jesuit, mathematician, cartographer and sinologist who was awarded the honorary title ‘Xitai’ (Master of the Great West) as evidence of the intellectual dimension of his work. The Italian Jesuit is considered a forerunner of intercultural dialogue.

Tajani will then visit the exhibition hosted by the China World Art Museum ‘The Light of Ancient Roman Civilization: masterpieces from the National archaeological museum of Naples’. It is a sophisticated selection of objects and works of art from the collections of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples which will remain on display until 8 October.

On Monday the mission will restart with a stop at the Forbidden City, the imperial residence of the last two Chinese dynasties, the Ming and Qing. Its name derives from the strict protocol in force in the imperial era which prevented any ordinary citizen from entering it. Tajani is then expected, for the latest cultural event, at the National Museum for the exhibition ‘Self-portraits: masterpieces from the Uffizi Gallery’, organized in collaboration with the Chinese museum institution and which collects self-portraits by great masters of painting such as Raphael, Titian , Rembrandt and Rubens. We will then enter the ‘institutional’ part of the mission with meetings first with the Minister of Commerce, Wang Wentao, and then with the head of diplomacy, Wang Yi, together with whom Tajani will co-chair the 11th plenary session of the Italy-China Intergovernmental Committee, the first to be held since 2020. The mission will then be developed in Kazakhstan, for talks with President Tokayevbefore returning to Rome.

(from the envoy Piero Spinucci)