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Irene Pivetti is back on the "Silk Road"

L'ÉPOQUE USA - Irene Pivetti, journalist and politician, former President of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy and Secretary General of French leading diplomatic club Nereides Club - International Cultural Diplomacy Corporation, at the head of a new cultural diplomacy mission in China in the footsteps of the New Silk Road.

07.09.2023 © L'ÉPOQUE USA

By Olivier Gaillard

Irene Pivetti - Photo by © Abraham Caprani.
Irene Pivetti - Photo by © Abraham Caprani.

On September 8, 2013, during his visit to Astana, Chinese President Xi Jinping invited the countries of Central Asia to rebuild a "Silk Road Economic Belt", a Trans-Eurasian project of land and sea routes on the five continents which, stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea, would have involved nearly three billion people representing the largest market in the world with unparalleled potential. This gigantic infrastructure project of 800 billion euros was to connect China to all parts of the world, including the North Pole. It was about reviving the ancient Silk Roads of the beginning of our era, which served for centuries to trade in goods, money, techniques and ideas, consolidating Chinese supremacy. It is under the New Silk Roads that China has, for example, bought the port of Piraeus, in Greece. The initial projects even went as far as the French Atlantic, with the city of Brest as the point of arrival.

Meeting between President Xi Jinping and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana - Photo by © ILYAS OMAROV /AFP.
Meeting between President Xi Jinping and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana - Photo by © ILYAS OMAROV /AFP.

Ten years later, it is rather the rout of silk. The financial collapse of dozens of countries that had taken out loans to Beijing to finance this infrastructure. Because of the rise in interest rates, the rise in the price of raw materials which is strangling certain economies, the appreciation of the dollar which has also made certain loans more expensive and the appalling management of construction, roads, ports, bridges, dams, by Chinese companies. According to a study by AidData and the Harvard Kennedy School, China has had to disburse more than 200 billion euros in emergency loans and refinancing, half of which in the last three years alone.

Irene Pivetti

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