China urges Italy to stay in Belt and Road Initiative

China's foreign minister Wang Yi has demonstrated in talks with Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani that Beijing intends to strengthen bilateral ties.

The move is apparently aimed at urging Italy to continue its participation in the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang met with Tajani in Beijing on Monday and participated in bilateral government discussions.

China's foreign ministry said Wang emphasized the success of Beijing's efforts in establishing the trade and infrastructure initiative. It said China wishes to promote a comprehensive strategic partnership with Italy and realize larger growth.

Italy is the only G7 member that has signed up for the initiative. Reuters news agency quoted Tajani as saying on Saturday, "The Silk Road did not bring the results we expected." The possibility of Italy's withdrawal has been reported.

China is apparently aiming to secure Italy's participation ahead of an international forum on the initiative in Beijing in October.