Chinese or Atlantic? Conte’s transformation now unsustainable

After having been head of the most pro-Chinese government of the Second Republic, and after having deserted in the Cesarini area the meeting with the Chinese ambassador in the company of Beppe Grillo, just during the G7, Giuseppe Conte tries to dampen the controversy by talking about a 5 Star Movement “with an international footprint”. Hosted by Lucia Annunziata, the lawyer tries to dismiss the meeting by defining it as "meaningless", "superfluous" and speaking of the Atlantic alliance as the "pillar of the Italian system".

Nothing new, these are the classic changes of the lawyer's coat: sovereignist in government with Salvini, pro-European with Zingaretti; pro-American with the League, pro-Chinese with the Giallorossi. In a nutshell, Conte represents the quintessence of transformism: a geopolitical cocktail that, depending on convenience, is modified by adding a part of sovereignty or Europeanism, of Atlanticism or communism.

This time, however, the context seems to be different. If on the one hand the lawyer no longer dictates the rules of the game from Palazzo Chigi, and indeed has to digest the Atlanticism reaffirmed by Prime Minister Draghi, on the other hand Beppe Grillo continues to push in the direction of the Dragon, setting a meeting, right on the day of the G7 in Cornwall, with the Chinese ambassador in Rome.

A few days ago, on the comedian's blog, an article signed by Andrea Zhok was published in which the G7 was defined as "an ideological parade such as had not been seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall". Also on Grillo's blog, on 15 June 2019, in a piece entitled "the case of Hong Kong and the attempts at destabilization" , the rebellions of Hong Kong citizens repressed by the Beijing regime were minimized.

Although now trying to retract his positions in foreign policy, even the minister Luigi Di Maio previously expressed more than a weakness for the Chinese regime, taking the front row to sign the Memorandum of Undestanding on the "New Silk Road".

Nor can we forget the praises of the Giallorossi government for the "management" of Beijing during the pandemic.

On 25 February 2020, the Giallorossi decided to send more than 2 tons of personal protective equipment, including masks, to the People's Republic, only to be dramatically without them a few weeks later. Described as a faithful ally for having sent us more than 60 million masks, a year later, more than 50 percent of the devices were seized by the Gorizia prosecutor's office because they did not comply with European standards for protection from Covid-19 .

In short, the infatuation of the Grillini with the Chinese regime is there for all to see. Now it's up to Conte to take a clear position: take sides within the Atlantic frame or follow the road to Beijing. As some analysts have already pointed out, not resolving the ambiguities in favor of the Atlantic Alliance would mean precluding entry into future governing coalitions, just like the old PCI for its relations with the USSR.

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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Thu, 17 Jun 2021 03:53:00 +0000.