USA urges Italy against China’s OBOR initiative

Washington: The United States on Saturday urged Italy not to “lend legitimacy” to China’s “infrastructure vanity project” while referring to the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

“Italy is a major global economy and great investment destination. No need for the Italian government to lend legitimacy to China’s infrastructure vanity project,” Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the United States National Security Council tweeted.

The statement comes in the wake of Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte mulling over signing an accord with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi is slated to visit Italy from March 22 to 24, reports Sputnik. Conte had outlined that Italy and China would seek a framework deal during the Chinese premier’s impending visit.

The United States has previously warned Italy against supporting the project as well, with Marquis outlining that China’s initiative was unlikely to “bring any sustained economic benefits to the Italian people”. He added that it “may end up harming Italy’s global reputation in the long run.”