The G7 against the belt and the road of China with an infrastructure project


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By Steve Holland

CARBIS BAY, England, June 12 (Reuters) – The Group of Seven Wealthy Nations will announce a new global infrastructure plan on Saturday in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a senior official said on Saturday. administration of US President Joe Biden.

The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States would also push other G7 leaders to “take concrete action against forced labor” in China and include criticism of Beijing in their final communiqué.

“It’s not just about facing or facing China,” the official said. “But so far we have not come up with a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and the way we do business.”

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multibillion-dollar infrastructure program launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping and involving development and investment initiatives that would extend 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 the middle of last year, more than 2,600 projects costing $ 3.7 trillion were linked to the initiative, although China’s Foreign Ministry said last June that about 20% of projects had been severely affected by COVID. -19 pandemic.

In March, Biden said he 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 agenda.

The US official has so far said that the West has not offered a positive alternative to the Chinese government’s “lack of transparency, poor environmental and labor standards and coercive approach” which has made many worse. country.

“So tomorrow we will be announcing ‘build back better for the world’, an ambitious new global infrastructure initiative with our G7 partners that will not just be an alternative to B and me (belt and road),” the official said. . .

During the talks, Biden will also pressure other leaders to make it clear that they believe the forced labor practices are an affront to human dignity and “a blatant example of unfair economic competition from China.” show that they were serious about defending human rights.

“We are trying to be specific about areas like Xinjiang where forced labor takes place and where we need to express our values ​​as the G7,” the official said of the final statement to be released at the end of the summit. Sunday,

There were no details on how the global infrastructure program would be funded. The plan would involve raising hundreds of billions of public and private funds to help close a $ 40 trillion infrastructure gap in needy countries by 2035, the official said.

The aim was to work with Congress to complement existing development finance “in the hope that together with G7 partners, the private sector and other stakeholders, we will soon collectively catalyze hundreds of billions of dollars of ” infrastructure investments for low- and middle-income countries that need it. “. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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