G7 touts $600 bn global infrastructure plan to rival China
On Sunday, the G7 group announced an effort to compete with China's formidable Belt and Road Initiative.
The G7 group announced on Sunday a $600 billion effort to compete with China's formidable Belt and Road Initiative by funding global infrastructure projects in developing countries.
The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, unveiled with fanfare by US President Joe Biden and G7 allies from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union, aims to fill a massive gap left as China uses its economic power to extend the circle of its international relations across the globe.
Biden stated that the United States would contribute $200 billion, with the rest of the G7 contributing another $400 billion by 2027. According to Biden, funding projects that China currently dominates, such as roads and harbors in far-flung corners of the world, is not "aid or charity," he claimed.
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He claimed that the plan has "geostrategic thinking," saying such projects "deliver returns for everyone, including the people of all our nations."
The role of China's "democratic" rivals around the world is "a chance for us to share our positive vision for the future," he said, and for other countries to "see for themselves the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies."
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, agreed with the US president, saying, "It is up to us to give the world a positive, powerful investment impulse, to show our partners in the developing world that they have a choice."
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Although China was not mentioned by name, the rivalry loomed large over the leaders' presentation, which was a relaunch of Biden's original proposal for a Western infrastructure fund at last year's G7 summit in Britain.
Unlike China's state-run BRI initiative, proposed G7 funding is contingent on private companies' willingness to commit to large investments and is thus not guaranteed. However, according to US officials, this is a good thing.
According to US officials, recipient countries will be able to avoid the alleged "debt traps" and other "Chinese tactics" in this capitalist vs. communist scenario.