The crisis of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus, or Wuhan coronavirus, has put a special focus on Italy, a country that has been cultivating a close alliance with the CCP for some time. Italy was the first in the European country to sign the Belt and Road initiative, the mega infrastructure project that reflects the CCP’s global ambitions.
As a strategic partner in Europe, Italy has also become a target for the CCP’s distorted propaganda about its continued leadership during the pandemic. After signing a contract to import 100 million Chinese masks, images appeared in the Chinese state media of Italian citizens euphorically thanking the CCP for the supplies.
However, according to a Financial Times investigation, the staging of the grateful Italian citizens was in fact a montage to feed pro-Beijing propaganda and the hashtags that accompanied those publications, #ThanksChina, #GoChina & Italy were generated by bots.
In light of the facts, however, the CCP’s movements are being more closely scrutinized as the international community moves forward in an effort to unravel the true role of the CCP, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), which has been accused of deliberately covering up sensitive information about the CCP Virus outbreak.
A recent report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel cited a document prepared by the German intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), which detailed the maneuvers that the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping, carried out in conjunction with the WHO to delay important information about the coronavirus pandemic.
“On January 21, Chinese leader Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to withhold information on human-to-human transmission and delay the warning of a pandemic,” the BND report said, noting that such a decision would have caused the world to lose four to six weeks of valuable time in containing the virus.
For retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, former security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese leaders “believe they have a narrow window of strategic opportunity to strengthen their governance and review the international order in their favor.”
Italy and the CCP
Italy has become a standard-bearer for the CCP and has also assumed a proactive role in relations with the China. Beppe Grillo, leader of the pro-Chinese political coalition, Five Star Movement, has been seen frequently at the Chinese Embassy in Rome.
According to the European Council on Foreign Relations, business and political lobbies for the CCP have been on the rise in Italy.
Pirelli, an Italian company with 143 years of experience, which ranks fifth in the international tire market, was bought five years ago by China National Chemical Corp.
According to a study led by the international auditing firm KPMG, the agreement with Pirelli, revealed that the CCP’s acquisitions in Italy totaled 10 billion euros (US$10.9 billion) in five years (in a total investment of 13 billion euros).
Currently the CCP aims to dominate the infrastructure of southern Europe, and to this end it has obtained a license to manage Greece’s largest seaport, Piraeus Port in Athens, which Beijing hopes to make the largest commercial port in Europe.
Then the CCP planned to invest in several Italian ports, four of which are considered the country’s main ones. Zeno D’Agostino, president of the northern port of Trieste, said, “China is opening because it feels strong.”
In the first days that the CCP Virus pandemic became known in Italy, the government said it did not expect it to cause any inconvenience for Chinese telecommunications companies to implement 5G technology, particularly after Huawei announced an investment of US$3 billion in its telecommunications system.
In the words of NATO’s secretary general, “‘The geopolitical effects of the pandemic could be significant. (…) Some allies (are) more vulnerable for situations where critical infrastructure can be sold out” in a Chinese “buying spree.“