Maximum security in Rome for visit of Chinese leader

China's Xi Jinping will be in Rome from 21-23 March.

Rome security chiefs will establish two "green zones" in the city during the visit of the president of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, from 21 to 23 March.

The "A zone" will see a large part of the historic centre off-limits, particularly in the areas around government buildings, while the "B zone" will be centred around the five-star Parco dei Principi hotel in the Parioli district, where the Chinese leader will be based for three days.

The visit will see Xi hold talks with Italy's president Sergio Mattarella and Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte, as well as parliamentary leaders, however China's foreign ministry says it is "unaware" of any plans for a meeting with Pope Francis.

The Colosseum and the surrounding area will be closed to visitors on the afternoon of 22 March to allow Xi and his entourage to take an exclusive tour of the ancient amphitheatre, led by the Colosseum director Alfonsina Russo.

Xi comes to Rome as part of a wider European visit to Monaco and France to seek support for China's global trade infrastructure programme, the $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the New Silk Road.

Conte is expected to sign a non-binding memorandum of understanding with China, together with Xi, at Palazzo Madama on the morning of 23 March, before the Chinese leader departs Rome.

Other European countries have expressed reservations about the BRI, which seeks to connect China with Europe and Africa, however Conte described the deal on 19 March as risk-free and "totally legitimate."

Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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