More money for ports and roads, more tourists, more cultural: Italy promises to be a controversial approach to China, benefits on all levels.

As the first country in the seven major industrial Nations, G7, Italy wants to join this Saturday, the Chinese Mega-infrastructure project “New silk road”. At the start of a trip to Europe by China’s President Xi Jinping Rome rolled him on Friday the red carpet.

Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella was after a Meeting with Xi on the concerns of other States. On the “New silk road” has to run the traffic in both directions. In addition, you should not be only for the exchange of Goods, but also ideas, talents, Knowledge, long-term solutions to common problems and the future should be replaced with “projects”. Mattarella also hopes to have a dialogue on human rights – a sensitive issue in China.

China wants to invest in the framework of the geo-strategic project of billions in ports, roads, Railways, telecommunications networks and airports. On Saturday, representatives of the populist government in Rome want a Declaration of intent to sign with the commitments of Beijing’s “silk road” formally support. Xi stressed that the cooperation, bring mutual benefits and respect. “Between us there is no conflict of interest.”

With the “silk road” to new economic and trade corridors to Europe, to Africa, to Latin America, but also within Asia. Major EU partners and the US have concerns. You criticize, among other things, a lack of transparency and unfair conditions of competition. In addition, it is feared that China expand its global claim to power.

In Rome, was received by Xi, however, with a blaze of glory. The centre was temporarily blocked, helicopters circled over the city, Chinese Fans welcomed Xi with flags and banners. Xi should be accompanied by a 300-man strong Delegation. In the evening a state dinner at the presidential Palace. In the connection of star tenor Andrea to occur Bocelli. “A reception fit for a king” languages Italian Newspapers.

Deputy head of the government, Luigi Di Maio, of the Five-star movement tried to wipe concerns aside. The cooperation would create Jobs and companies in Italy. “I can assure you that (the Memorandum) is a very great opportunity for all of us.” Italy is the third largest economy in the EU and, most recently, in the recession, slipped. Investments do Not.

“At the economic level, we are interested in, to take advantage of the great opportunities in the huge Chinese market, as well as bilateral investments,” wrote the head of the government, Giuseppe Conte in a guest contribution in the “world”. “We need to be able to cooperate with Beijing on the Basis of equality to build up – without even a step of our own values and principles, to depart.”

EU States such as Hungary and Greece have joined the “silk road” already. But the great historical partners in Italy, Germany, France and Britain – refuse to make a signature. “The silk road is an essential part of Xi Jinpings new foreign policy to the influence of China in neighbouring regions and, in addition, continue to expand,” writes the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics).

After a trip to the Sicilian city of Palermo on Saturday, the Communist state leader Xi more about Monaco to France. On Tuesday, he arrives in Paris next to the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.