A newborn baby is transported along a corridor of Rome's Santo Spirito Hospital, Italy, on 14 November 2022. (Remo Casilli/Reuters)

Mismatch between women's wants and social support cause of Italy's demographic woe

Italy is facing a major population challenge in late marriages and low birth rates, as young people struggle to start their own families given low incomes and larger global issues such as war and climate change. Can the conservative party Brothers of Italy convince young people to have more children?
A person uses a phone in front of an installation featuring the logo of the third Belt and Road Forum, in Beijing, China, on 16 October 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

What Italy’s likely exit from the BRI says about its relations with China

While Italy’s imminent withdrawal from the BRI is a symbolic setback, the country still plans to engage China and reap the economic benefits. Would this be easier said than done with the departure from the MOU ruffling the Chinese and the need to keep within the lines drawn by the EU? Italian academic Alessandro Albana examines the issue.
Italian Prime Minister and leader of Brothers of Italy party Giorgia Meloni gestures as she attends an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Brothers of Italy party in Rome, Italy, 17 December 2022. (Remo Casilli/Reuters)

Italy’s right-wing government can't make up its mind about China?

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her party seem to be adopting a see-saw position on China, notes Italian academic Alessandro Albana. In contrast to voicing strong criticisms in the run-up to the elections, the new right-wing government seems to be engaging China, not least with PM Meloni striking a rapport with China’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Bali. Do economic imperatives trump election rhetoric after all?
In this file photo taken on 3 November 2021, activists rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, California, calling for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics due to concerns over China's human rights record. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

Beijing Olympics diplomatic boycott: Does China care?

Following the announcement of the US’s diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Australia, the UK, and Canada have also joined the boycott, while New Zealand has cited the pandemic as its reason for not sending ministerial-level officials to the Games. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines the moves by these countries, and notes that perhaps the real reason for the US boycott has more to do with US-China competition and the need to play to the domestic gallery. And while China has reacted strongly to the boycott, is it truly concerned?
Xishan, Jiangsu in China (left) and Modica, Sicily in Italy (right).

Egyptian-American architect: I see China in rural Italy

In this photo series, Hisham Youssef captures unexpected parallels between the countryside in China and Italy. Different cultures and many miles apart, the similarities are uncanny.