ROME, Oct 2 (Reuters) - United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he had warned Italy to be wary of China’s “predatory” approach to international relations and sought Italian support for U.S. policy on Venezuela and Iran.
“I urged my Italian friends to see how China uses its economic power to cultivate political influence and erode sovereignty,” Pompeo told reporters after a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.
“I raised concerns about China’s zero sum predatory approach to trade and investment and what it could mean throughout Europe and Africa and the world at large,” he said.
The United States expressed its disapproval earlier this year when Italy joined China’s huge Belt and Road international trade and infrastructure initiative.
Pompeo also said he had asked for Italy’s support in the “necessary task” of confronting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Angelo Amante, writing by Gavin Jones)