The United States has repeatedly urged Italy, a country with US military bases, not to deepen relations with China, and Mike Pompeo reiterated the message during a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio.

“I had a long conversation with the Italian foreign minister about US concerns that the Chinese Communist Party is trying to put economic pressure on Italy to achieve its strategic goals,” Mike Pompeo was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“The United States also urges the Italian government to carefully consider the risks to national security and the privacy of citizens posed by technology companies affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party,” said Mike Pomepo.

Luigi de Maio said he maintains his commitments to Western partners and understands the position of the United States.

“In the 5G issue, I told Secretary Mike Pompeo that we are aware of the American ally’s concerns and fully understand each country’s responsibility for security,” Luigi di Maio said.

Italy generated concerns in the US last year, when it became the first developed economy in the West to join the Chinese infrastructure project Belt and Road Initiative.