On March 16, the lower house of Italy’s parliament passed a motion calling on the government to pay attention to the Indo-Pacific region and Taiwan Strait situation amid the Ukraine war.
Once the first EU and G7 member participated in China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, Italy raised its awareness of the security crisis after the pandemic. So far, Draghi’s government has been in office for 13 months and has blocked four Chinese investments.
The motion, introduced by Paolo Formentini, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, passed the lower house with 387 votes in support, 19 votes against, and 11 abstentions.
Citing the risk of China launching a war against Taiwan during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the motion urged Rome to collaborate with allies in the EU and NATO to develop an Indo-Pacific policy and prepare measures to deal with a potential Taiwan Strait conflict.
The motion called for Rome to review the Indo-Pacific strategy and determine its policy toward Taiwan when the situation in the Indo-Pacific is tense because it also involves Italy’s strategic interests.
The bill is an important Italian vote for Taiwan with the Five Star Movement, and the traditionally pro-Communist, ruling and opposition parties also supported it.
In an interview with Radio Radicale, Paolo Formentini said that Taiwan’s economy is prosperous, most countries rely on Taiwan’s chip supply, but China’s reunification by force strongly threatens Taiwan. For Italy, Taiwan is an independent and democratic country.
A meeting of Italy’s cabinet approved on March 10 canceled a plan to sell a military drone company to a Chinese company, the latest in a series of measures to curb Beijing’s inroads in Italy since Prime Minister Mario Draghi took office.
In 2021, the Italian government launched an investigation into the Alpi Aviation company’s sale of a 75 percent stake to Chinese investors. Those involved in the deal had violated the provisions of the Golden Powers Act by failing to inform the Italian government.
Alpi Aviation also sold an aircraft to China in 2019 without the Italian government or EU being aware. The military drone was sent to China under the “radio-controlled aircraft model” label to participate in a 5-day import exhibition in Shanghai.
The Chinese conglomerates involved in the acquisition are China Corporate United Investment Holding and CRRC Capital Holding, a subsidiary of the giant state-owned railway CRRC. Italian police believe the whole deal is a predatory technology investment.