Rome: The recent meeting of a delegation from the People's Republic of China with Italy's Foreign Minister failed to find space for a discussion on the human rights issues and was solely focused on PRC's ties with Russia, reported Better Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights.

Wang Yi, a Chinese diplomat and politician, met with Antonio Tajani, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Rome on February 16, 2023.

The report further states that both human rights in the People's Republic of China and the PRC's alliance with Russia should've been on the agenda of Tajani's meeting with Wang. However, there was public silence on human rights, while deep concern was expressed about China's potential role in the Russia-Ukraine scenario. Italy is one of the countries urging China to exert influence over Russia and persuade it to end its aggression in Ukraine. When Tajani met Wang, it appears that this concern absorbed all other questions.

In fact, there was no room for a discussion of the heinous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by China and Italy in March 2019. The Memorandum, signed as part of the so-called "Belt and Road Initiative," is nefarious for a variety of reasons. It is a political blank cheque that the then-Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister, Luigi Di Maio, and his chief advisor on China, economist Michele Geraci, gave to a totalitarian state where no elections have been held since 1949, everything is in the bloody hands of one ruling party, and human rights and religious liberty are in shambles, Better Winter magazine reported.

Wang mentioned the MoU to Tajani solely to urge further implementation of its provisions, as he did the following day, February 17, 2023, when he met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. However, the Italian governments that came after the one for which Di Maio signed the Memorandum in 2019 announced changes. So far, these revisions have not arrived, and it appears that they were not discussed during Wang and Tajani's meeting.

To its credit, the current Italian government has been openly critical of the Memorandum and has hinted that it may be revised, if not repealed entirely. However, an important opportunity was passed up this month. It is understood that all possible efforts should be made to stop Russia's aggression against Ukraine, including attempting to involve China. It may appear naive, however, to place all bets on China. And it is unconscionable to do so at the expense of tolerating even more Chinese injustice, reported Better Winter.

PRC Foreign Minister from 2013 to 2022, State Councilor since 2018, and Politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 2022, Wang became Director of the CCP's Central Foreign Affairs Commission on January 1, 2023. With this appointment, he becomes the Chinese regime's highest-ranking diplomat and President Xi Jinping's top foreign policy adviser.

Tajani is a politician who has demonstrated sensitivity to issues of human rights and religious liberty. Italy is awaiting the appointment of a Special Envoy for Persecuted Christians (who are obviously persecuted in the PRC), a new position recently announced by Tajani, read a report of Better Winter.