Irene Pivetti is an Italian journalist and politician. She also serves as an active lobbyist. She was former Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies from 1994 to 1996. There are concerns that she works for the Chinese government and defends their interest in Europe. She also serves as President of the Italy-China Friendship Association. Frequently, she is known as Beijing’s friend in Rome.
She is the sole promoter of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Often she expressed her hope that Italy would not withdraw from the BRI. She contended, “There are so many cultural and economic links between our people that the reality is there. Of course, politics sometimes takes decisions difficult to understand; by now, that decision has not yet been taken. So Italy is still a signing partner country for the Belt and Road Initiative. As an Italian citizen, I hope Italy will never withdraw from there.”
Further, she added, “In any case, academics, entrepreneurs and common people, we go on looking and appreciating a tighter relationship with China. As far as I’m concerned, maybe I can do something more. We will multiply the bridges between China and Italy, China and Europe.”
On July 14, 2023, Ms. Irene Pivetti was invited to attend the “Carbon Neutrality 2060 and Green Finance Forum (Summer 2023)” carried by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China and managed by the Center for Eco-financial Studies at Renmin University of China. She delivered a keynote address on “The Belt and Road Initiative, Green Development, and China-Europe Cooperation.
Pivetti indicated that “China chose the path of green development at least 20 years ago and has made many accomplishments until now. Currently, China-EU green cooperation must jump out of the complex political context. At the same time, the two sides need to think deeply about how China-EU cooperation can be more pragmatic and practical in addition to theory. She believes there should be a list of priorities for the cooperation between the EU and China in the field of green economy, or even a list of specific vital projects, to determine specific regulatory actions and to make a final decision that is as legitimate as possible.” Her stance clearly shows that her speech was tilted towards the Chinese.
Pivetti is also the chair of an international consulting firm that works for China. According to Intelligence Online, Lobby Communication Advisory is primarily focused on advancing China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the Shanghai Research Institute is a partner in the company, owning 10% of the company. This university blends over 100 Chinese academic institutions interested in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative. Lobby Communication Advisory’s former clients comprise a Chinese TV channel held by the Shanghai Media Group. Lobby
Communication Advisory is a component of Only Italia, also established by Pivetti, a company that enables Italian businesses to enter the Chinese market. According to Intelligence Online, Pivetti escorted Chinese Premier Li Kequiang on a visit to Italy in 2014.