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Italy's Attention Turns to China Between the ’50 and the ’60

Carla Meneguzzi Rostagni    Università degli Studi di Padova, Italia    



It is surprising that the very existence and recognition of China had significant repercussions on domestic policy in Italy, which was the country with the strongest Communist party in the West. In the ’50s the Italian official policy was compelled by membership in Atlantic alliance and relations with United States, to refuse economic exchanges with China. According to documents found in “Ministero degli Affari Esteri” and in “Aldo Moro” archives, even in the same years political characters such as the Socialist Pietro Nenni, the Christian Democrats Giovanni Gronchi and Amintore Fanfani worked to favour China-Italy exchanges and economic actors like Dino Gentili and Enrico Mattei organised economic Italian missions to China. Since 1960, thanks to trade relations set up in the ’50s, and to political events (December 1963 the first centre-left government with Aldo Moro president, Pietro Nenni vicepresident and Giuseppe Saragat to foreign affairs, and at the beginning of 1964 the French political recognition of China), the process was accelerated. Thus, in December 1964 the first commercial agreement between Italy and China was concluded and commercial offices were opened in Rome and Beijing. After 1964 the Chinese question entered Italian foreign policy and was included in parliamentary debates and government programmes. The American diplomacy, dominated by the Vietnam war, opposed any initiative to Chinese recognition but Italy anticipated the better reported, more celebrated US recognition.

May 3, 2018
May 1, 2017
April 3, 2017

Keywords: ChinaItalyRecognitionCold WarUnited States

Copyright: © 2018 Carla Meneguzzi Rostagni. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.