Nobel laureate Michael Spence positive on China-Italy cooperation
CGTN
02:32

Nobel economic science winner Michael Spence said that Italy's move of joining China's Belt and Road Initiative as the first G7 nation on Saturday raised some controversies among European countries, yet he was not sure why there would be any controversies.

"I am not sure why there are any controversies, since all of the European countries have important relationships with China, because China is an important economy, an important trading partner and investment partner," said Spence on the sideline of the China Development Forum held this weekend.

Spence said that he came to China on several occasions, either the president or chancellor of Germany were staying at the same hotel with him, interacting with their counterparts in China to promote cooperations.

"Italy is struggling economically, I think having expanded relationships with China under the Belt and Road Initiative could be helpful to Italy, might expand their market, since China has a huge domestic market," Spence said. "Of course, the two countries have to experiment with terms of engagement till they find the mutually beneficial ways in it."

Spence also pointed out that the original Silk Road ran from China through the Central Asia ended up in Venice more than 700 years ago, which also serves as a foundation for the two countries' cooperation.

"The two countries do have reasonably interesting histories together," Spence said.