On 22 July, “Port News”, the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority magazine, edited by Marco Casale, hosted a piece by Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata where the former Foreign Secretary of Italy and President of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella” outlines the economic and political risks connected with Chinese development and the ties that Italy and a significant number of European countries are gradually establishing with Beijing. The article entitled “Italy must escape the claws of the Dragon” is available in Italian on Port News website. Here are some excerpts.
Xi Jinping’s China is the end point of an absolute centralized power system based on the Chinese Communist Party. That system dates back to seventy years ago when the Long March of the Maoist Revolution took place. The same system evolved in the 1960s in an even more repressive one through the Cultural Revolution. It was still the same system that, so to speak, regenerated in 1989 with the blood spilled in the repression of a youth movement longing for freedom and reform who met their death in Tiananmen Square instead. A grim paradox of history, at a time when communist tyrannies were wiped out in other parts of the world.
Xi Jinping’s China proudly claims its communist and Maoist past as a legacy of values and political principles to be cherished and to be offered to the world. This is precisely why it is necessary to tackle the raising global economic, political and cultural “chinesization” through the Silk Roads and the “One Belt One Road Initiative” with the utmost decisiveness and great cohesion, both national and European.
China has never observed the universal principles it had subscribed to and in recent years we have been witnessing a brazen vindication of opposing principles instead. “Human rights with Chinese characteristics” and “the rule of law with Chinese characteristics” are slogans now carried forward with pride within the United Nations. Overt obedience to Beijing by Chinese officials in international institutions are now affirmed and claimed, and it does not matter if it goes against the “sworn” duty of those very officials. Anonymous complaints filed by UN officials against Beijing’s continuing pressure have become countless.
Today, very few governments are resisting any Chinese act of arrogance designed to rewrite the most basic universal rules that the international community decided to adhere to in 1946. Italy is one of the first countries to surrender. This is the reason why “chinesization” should concern all of us deeply: not only because of what happens here and there but for the erosion of the set of principles of the rule of law.