• Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:57 am

G7 adopts global infrastructure plan in riposte to China

  • Published at 02:49 pm June 12th, 2021
This photo taken on September 18, 2018 shows the newly opened Sinamale Bridge - formerly known as the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge after a major funding input from China - in the Maldives capital Male AFP

More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure

G7 leaders on Saturday adopted a rival plan to oppose China's Belt and Road Initiative by helping build infrastructure in poorer nations in a "values-driven, high-standard and transparent" partnership.

The adoption of the US-inspired "Build Back Better World" (B3W) project came after President Joe Biden and leaders met to address "strategic competition with China and commit to concrete actions to help meet the tremendous infrastructure need in low- and middle-income countries," the White House said.

China has been widely criticised for saddling small countries with unmanageable debt as part of its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which has seen money lent for projects stretching across Asia, Africa, Latin America and even Europe. 

President Xi Jinping launched the BRI in 2013 to significantly expand China's economic and political influence, with many of the infrastructure plans seen as helping deliver its goods globally. 

China denies any ulterior motives to the vast investment project. 

But critics argue it uses the financial leverage arising from the scheme to boost its clout, in what they dub "debt-trap diplomacy." 

The White House said the G7 initiative would be similarly global in scope, estimating that the developing world needs more than $40 trillion in infrastructure, a gap "which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic."  

"B3W will collectively catalyse hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries in the coming years," it said.

Funding will emphasise the environment and climate, labour safeguards, transparency, and anti-corruption, it added, in implicit contrast to China's opaque funding.

Further details would come in the G7 summit's final communique on Sunday, the White House added.

The issue is close to home for the elite club of wealthy democracies.

Italy was the first member nation to sign on to the BRI, infuriating Washington as well as much of the European Union. 

President Xi visited the country on a 2019 tour of Europe, with Italy's formal signing of Belt and Road deals the centrepiece of the trip.

EU member Greece is another backer of the scheme. A notable 2008 deal by its then conservative government ceded container terminals at the main port of Piraeus to Chinese shipping giant Cosco.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail