Keywords: Italian Foreign Policy, PRC, Italian Chinese Relations, Cultural Diplomacy, Soft Power.
This essay aims to observe from the privileged point of view of the Italian Embassy in Beijing a little know aspect of the Italian foreign policy towards the People’s Republic during the Eighties. Through the documentation of President Francesco Cossiga’s Archives, it has been possible to understand Italian diplomats’ efforts to relaunch cultural and economic relations between Rome and Beijing. According to the Italian Ambassador Raffaele Marras cultural diplomacy was the first step to improve Italian commercial channels and opportunities in China. It was essential to reduce the gap with other European countries trying to arise as a key player in the Chinese emerging markets, exploiting Chinese interests in Italian culture, history, and industry.