March 14, 2019 / 10:40 AM / 5 months ago

Italy's Salvini will oppose MOUs with China if threaten national security

FILE PHOTO: Italian Deputy Prime Minister and League leader Matteo Salvini speaks at a news conference at the Senate upper house parliament building in Rome, Italy March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Thursday he will firmly oppose any Memorandums of Understanding with China if he considers they compromise national security.

Salvini, who leads the far-right ruling party League party, made his remarks during a press conference in Rome.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he might sign MOUs to become a part of China’s giant “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Rome and Palermo later this month.

The United States has raised concerns about the deals.

Salvini added that any back-tracking on F35 military plane investments would be harmful for Italy. The League’s coalition partner the 5-Star Movement has frequently expressed reservations about the F35 purchases.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Francesca Piscioneri, editing by Gavin Jones

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