M5S elected officials displaced by the news of the meeting, scheduled for late afternoon in Rome at the Chinese embassy, between Giuseppe Conte, Beppe Grillo and the Beijing ambassador Li Junhua. Criticism rained down from Lega, Fratelli d’Italia, Forza Italia and IV. And irritation also filters from the Democratic Party. Then, within a few hours, the clarification arrives: the former prime minister, his entourage is known, will not take part in the meeting due to “concomitant commitments”. Among the Grillini parliamentarians, the mouths remain rigorously sewn. For now, only the vice-president of the M5S senators Gianluca Ferrara, leader of the 5-star group in the Foreign Commission, for whom the visit of the leaders of the Movement to the Chinese embassy “is part of that concept of multilateralism that the M5S has always considered a fixed point”.
“Certain controversies seem to me to be raised by those who seem to be more realistic than the king”, he tells Adnkronos Ferrara, explaining that China “is a reality from which we cannot and do not wish to ignore”, without questioning “its geopolitical positioning. of our country, our privileged friendship with the United States and our European partners “. It is not the first time that the guarantor and founder of the Movement has visited the Dragon’s embassy. In November 2019 Grillo had two meetings within 24 hours with the Chinese ambassador. At the time, the comedian just posted a photo on Facebook with Li Junhua, joking: “I brought him some pesto and told him that if he likes it he’ll have to let me know in time because I would be able to send a ton a week, either with garlic than without, to encourage economic exchanges! “.
Even then the political opponents of the M5S harshly criticized Grillo’s encounter with the diplomacy of the Asian superpower. Then there are those who remember the agreement on the New Silk Road, signed by the Italian government in March 2019 in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping just when Conte was at Palazzo Chigi: these were the times of the yellow-green executive in cohabitation with the Lega di Matteo Salvini, who even then expressed strong doubts about the Italy-China memorandum.
The controversy was not lacking even a few days ago, when the comedian’s blog – accused by many of acting as a ‘megaphone’ for Chinese propaganda – published the report entitled “Xinjiang. Understanding complexity, building peace”, promoted by the center Cesem studies “together with Eurispes-Laboratorio Brics and the International Diplomatic Institute (Idi)”, in which the accusations made over the last year by the United States and its main allies on the alleged Uyghur genocide in progress are branded as “sensational” in Xinjiang “. The president of the Senate Foreign Affairs Commission Vito Petrocelli also embraced the initiative, adding his signature in support of the dissemination of the report.
And today, with the new face to face between Grillo and Li Junhua, the M5S is back under the barrage of opposition and government allies. “The grillini are the fifth column of the Chinese regime in Italy”, thunders the leader of the Brothers of Italy Giorgia Meloni. The League asks the Movement to “clarify its relationship with China”. And not even the Democratic Party – a ‘privileged’ partner, with whom the pentastellati would like to build an alliance in view of the next policies – hides its disappointment. “On the day the G7 begins, with Mario Draghi strengthening transatlantic cooperation and acting as Biden’s first level interlocutor for the whole EU, there can be no room for ambiguity with China and Russia”, writes Enrico Borghi on Twitter. member of the Pd secretariat very close to Enrico Letta. (by Antonio Atte)