The Group of Seven, the group of seven wealthy industrialized nations, adopted a new plan on Saturday to help poor countries build different types of infrastructure. A White House spokesman said the plan aims to curb China’s influence in developing countries and emerging economies.
The Chinese have been steadily expanding their power in poor countries since 2013 through the so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which includes projects such as railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure. Critics also see the Belt and Road Initiative as a modern version of the trade route that ran along the Silk Road in the past. More than a hundred countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in projects of the Belt and Road Initiative. This initiative has already cost Beijing trillions of US dollars.
The Group of Seven, which includes the United States, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, is now creating the Build Back Better World initiative, abbreviated to B3W. In particular, alternative infrastructure options will be introduced, with a greater focus on labor and environmental standards, transparency and private sector participation than is the case with the Belt and Road Initiative. The plan will require at least forty trillion US dollars, although most of this money will have to come from the corporate sector.
“This is not just about confronting or confronting China,” a senior US government official said. “But we have not yet offered a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and the way we do business.” B3W should become this alternative.