Silvio Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy and leader of the Progressive Party of Italy.

(Taken from Berlusconi Facebook)

[Reporter Yang Chengyu/Taipei Report] The region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy bordering Austria and Slovenia will hold local elections in these two days. The former Prime Minister of Italy and the current ruling Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the coalition's Forza Italia party, worked hard to campaign for his own candidate despite being discharged from hospital.

Berlusconi wrote to the media that the most strategic port of Trieste should not be allowed to fall into the "unfriendly" hands of China's "Belt and Road" project.

Trieste is the capital of the Friuli-Venice Giulia region and the province of Trieste, with a population of about 200,000. It is located in the deepest part of the Bay of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. It was under the jurisdiction of the Habsburg Dynasty from half to World War I and became an important port between Central Europe and Central Europe.

Trieste is also the birthplace of the famous Italian coffee brand Illy.

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Trieste's local newspaper "Tabolo" published Berlusconi's letter on March 30.

"Journal", "Liberty Daily" and other media reported that Berlusconi wrote that Trieste has resumed its natural function as the outlet of Central Europe and as a symbol of the relationship between the Balkans and Europe and the West.

Fellow Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani has put the Balkans at the center of Italy's foreign policy priorities and is pushing for a series of measures in Trieste to link the Balkan countries' economies with Italy's. link with the European Union.

Therefore, it is necessary to make adjustments to infrastructure, such as the construction of high-speed rail and expressways.

Berlusconi warned that "we cannot allow the most strategic infrastructure - the port of Trieste - to fall into the 'unfriendly' hands of China's Belt and Road Initiative".

While China is an important interlocutor to this trading land; however, the relationship with China cannot be one of structural subordination.

"For my generation, Trieste and its land symbolized the love of Italy," Berlusconi said.

Italy is the only country in the G7 that has joined China's "Belt and Road Initiative". During the election campaign last year, current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed doubts about the "Belt and Road Initiative" and preferred not to renew the agreement.

As for whether to renew the contract by the end of this year, both Meloni and Foreign Minister Tajani said recently that "it is still under evaluation."

According to "Ant News", the commercial agreement signed when Italy signed the "Belt and Road" cooperation memorandum in 2019 included the cooperation between China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Italy's "East Adriatic Authority". Cooperation agreement, which includes the port of Trieste and the port of Monfalcone in the same region.

In August 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense listed 11 Chinese companies, including China Communications Construction Company, as companies owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

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