This essay analyzes Sino-Italian relations against the background of the increasing salience of the West Asia and North Africa region in Rome’s and Beijing’s strategic calculus. As China projects westward through its New Silk Road strategy, culminating at the intersection of the Mediterranean Sea and Europe’s core, the spectrum of Italy’s foreign policy options opens to innovative forms of cooperation with China to meet the challenges emanating from the European Union’s southern and southeastern neighborhoods. An integrated study of the dynamics of Sino-Italian bilateral relations and of the mounting strategic exposure both countries have across West Asia and North Africa underscores the urgency of consolidating the societal foundations of the strategic partnership ten years after its launch.

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