According to state-run news agency Xinhua, recession-hit Ital

  it Italy formed a China Task Force in October to investigate economic opportunities in China including the possibility of endorsing the initiative.

  China’s ambassador to Italy, Li Ruiyi, attended the first

meeting of the task force in Italy and spoke positively about bilateral relations.

  ”Italy and China were linked by the ancient Silk Road in the past. We expect the Task Force to help strengthen the two cou

ntries’ cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and contributing to a closer EU-China relationship,” Li said.

  Asked about the possible announcement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters Wed

nesday “an increasing number of countries and international organizations” wanted to take part.

  ”More and more of them have found this is indeed a very good platform for mutually beneficial cooperation since the Belt an

d Road was proposed six years ago. And we will release any information about this in time once we have it,” he said.