China, the Italian Prejudice
Italy’s political vision of China has been tainted by prejudice. In past decades, before China’s rapid development, it was a positive prejudice. People on the right saw China as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, people on the left viewed it as model of socialism. In recent years, the prejudice has changed in nature. Those on the right, defending Italy’s small and medium-sized enterprises beleaguered by Chinese competition, accuse Beijing of unfair trade practices, those on the left, fearing that workers might lose their jobs to China, blame Beijing for exploiting workers. In either case, Italy is not interested in discovering the true reality of China, which remains an exotic mystery. This lack of knowledge is the root of Italy’s policy problems with China.