US, EU ink Mideast-India rail and shipping corridor at G20
Officials in the US claim that the effort is not intended to offset Chinese influence in emerging economies.
The United States inked an agreement with India, Middle Eastern nations, the Israeli entity, and the European Union to connect them via a network of trains and marine lines, a move that Chinese experts say is "reactive" and comes as China expands its influence across the area.
As China's relations with West Asia - a main component of the BRI - grow stronger compared to waning US influence, the White House is hoping that the initiative will restore its power in the region.
The goal is to connect Middle Eastern nations and the Israeli entity by rail and to India via shipping channels from regional ports, eventually reaching Eastern Europe. The US has been discussing the proposal covertly with India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and "Israel."
According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyens, the train link will boost commerce between India and Europe by 40%, something Biden called "game-changing".
Leaders will also create a trans-African corridor to strengthen transport connections from the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Katanga area and Zambia's so-called "Copper Belt" to Lobito port in Angola. This project, known as the Lobito Corridor, is also supported by the US and EU.
US Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer claimed that the plan was mainly centered on "turning the temperature down" in the turbulent region.
Officials in the US denied the notion that the effort was intended to offset Chinese influence in emerging economies.
However, analysts believe that the US goal to isolate China would be futile. Zhou Rong, a senior researcher at Renmin University of China's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, expressed to The Global Times that the US lacks both the real purpose and the competence to properly develop the Middle East's transportation network.
The US; 'much said, little done'
"It is not the first time that the US has been involved in a 'much said, little done' scenario," Zhou explained, adding that during Obama's rule, Hilary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, announced a "New Silk Road," that would come from Afghanistan in order to improve its economic potential with its neighbors- a promise forgotten by the administration.
Liu Zhongmin, a professor at Shanghai International Studies University's Middle East Studies Institute, told the Global Times on Saturday that the US recent moves are "more reactive than proactive given China's stronger presence."
Saudi Arabia and US sign MoU for intercontinental green corridors
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated on Saturday that Saudi Arabia and the United States had signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a protocol aimed at creating intercontinental green corridors.
The transit corridor, which would connect Asia and Europe by train through Saudi Arabia, intends to allow the flow of renewable power and clean hydrogen via cables and pipes, according to SPA, which added that the MoU was signed on Friday.
The project also seeks to help efforts to create sustainable energy, improve the digital economy through data transfer through fiber optic cables, strengthen commercial commerce, and increase commodities transit by connecting trains and ports.