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China wary of Italy's new leader Giorgia Meloni
Rome: The victory of Giorgia Meloni in the Italian general election has drawn widespread public attention, owing to questions about the new Italian government's position on China.
Merely a few days have passed since the high-drama Italian elections resulted in the win of Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party and its right-wing coalition. Meloni, 45, in all likelihood, will be Italy's first female Prime Minister breaking the glass barrier. Notably, Meloni made some harsh remarks against China during the election.
In an opinion piece published in the Chinese state media outlet on Tuesday, Global Times (GT) said, "it is our sincere hope that the new Italian government will stick to a pragmatic approach to normal economic and trade cooperation with China."
The state media outlet said Italy should have a foreign policy that serves its interests and Europe's interests, "rather than following the American baton."
"It is hoped that Italy's new government will not let the current political atmosphere to undermine its cooperation with China, and will stay on the pragmatic track for BRI," Global Times said.
This sense of wariness in the Chinese media is the result of statements made by Meloni before the election.
Meloni, who is now set to be Italy's next PM, had said that she would reverse course on her country's support for China's Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan.
"Without any doubt, if there is a centre-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy," said Giorgia Meloni in a recent interview with CNA.
While backing Taiwan, she slammed China's assertive actions across the globe and their implications for Italy and the EU. Meloni stated that she has been "following closely with unease" what is happening around Taiwan.
"This is an unacceptable conduct by Beijing, a conduct that we strongly condemn, together with all the democracies of the free world," Meloni said, in a written response to questions from CNA. (ANI)