The Chinese version. The victory of Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy in the Italian elections “worries Europe” because of the consequences it could unleash. Thus reads today’s front page of the Global Times, the nationalist tabloid of the People’s Daily, which in turn is the voice of the Chinese Communist Party.
- As the paper puts it, Europe fears “a chain reaction” that would lead to the emergence of a strong right-wing political component amid “multiple ongoing crises” (critical issues such as the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis) which are inflating “the profits of right-wing parties.”
New story, old news. The tabloid points to Marine Le Pen’s exploits in the recent French elections as precedents. All these tactics are nothing new – not unlike its Russian counterparts, the Global Times attempts to stoke divisions in the Euro-Atlantic front.
Chapter Taiwan. On Twitter, the Global Times’ profile quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urging “the relevant people in Italy to fully recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and avoid sending wrong signals to the Taiwan secessionist forces.” The tweet explicitly stated he was responding to Ms Meloni’s remarks on Taiwan.
- On Friday, the leader spoke to the Taiwanese news agency CNA. She called Italy’s accession to the Silk Road in 2019 a “big mistake,” promising to keep the Taiwan issue among the key priorities of her government, and branding China’s threats to the island as “unacceptable.”
- “The Taiwan issue is about Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the Chinese Embassy in a statement hours after, expressing discontent with “negative remarks that exploit the Taiwan issue to stimulate a hostile approach toward China.”
Hands on. Ms Meloni has invested in relations with Taipei – and thus in a critical line against China – in an attempt to occupy a political vacuum, marking her distance from Matteo Salvini’s League and reassuring the United States about her Atlanticism.
- Matter of fact, Brothers of Italy’s hawkish positions on China will likely impact the G7’s stiffening posture towards Beijing.