Di Maio will become the country’s youngest-ever foreign minister, beating the record set by Federica Mogherini, who became foreign minister at age 40.
China mocked Luigi Di Maio for getting the name of the President of the People’s Republic Xi Jinping wrong after the nomination as head of the Foreign Ministry in the Conte II government.
A few months ago, Di Maio had mistakenly called the President of China “Ping” in a public speech. “The new Italian government believes that the relationship with China is fundamental”, explained Di Maio in Shanghai during the China International Import Expo, calling Xi Jinping “Ping”. It caused considerable embarrassment for the Italian delegation and forced the translator to immediately correct the mistake.
When the political leader of the Five Stars set foot in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, it was met with international rejection. The Chinese news agency, controlled directly by the state council of the People’s Republic of China according to reports from Dagospia – gave a brief portrait of each of the most important ministers.
Di Maio was not particularly appreciated by Beijing. The Chinese agency defined “the appointment of Luigi Di Maio, political leader of the 5-star Movement, as an unusual choice. The 33-year-old Di Maio – already vice president of the first Conte government – never graduated, has a poor knowledge of foreign languages, and has so far shown little interest in global issues in his public life”.
Di Maio will therefore have to work hard to gain esteem and credibility at the international level. In his inauguration greeting, he made it clear that he was ready however: “We will maintain a dialogue, without obviously renouncing the European and Atlantic values that characterize the history of our country”.
But his gaffes are many. From confusing Chile with Venezuela – saying General Pinochet was born in Caracas – to his struggling performances in English, his resume is quite unimpressive.
With his many photos with the leaders of the Yellow Vests in the midst of anti-Macron protests, Di Maio has also irritated Italy’s European partner par excellence, France.