The Group of Seven rich nations will announce on Saturday a new global infrastructure plan as a response to China’s belt and road intiative, a senior official in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said.
The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States would also push the other G7 leaders for “concrete action on forced labour” in China, and to include criticism of Beijing in their final communique
“This is not just about confronting or taking on China,” the official said. “But until now we haven’t offered a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and our way of doing business.”
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping involving development and investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond.
More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.
According to a Refinitiv database, as of mid-last year, more than 2,600 projects at a cost of $3.7 trillion were linked to the initiative, although the Chinese foreign ministry said last June that about 20% of projects had been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, Biden said he had suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the three-day G7 leaders’ summit in southwest England, that democratic countries should develop their own rival scheme.