This year’s G7 Summit held in Germany targeted China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to confront its global influence.
Alina Wang, writing in Vision Times said on the first day of the summit, US President Joe Biden announced plans to raise USD 600 billion to create a new G7 initiative – also known as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) – in an effort to counteract China’s global influence through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as well as a number of recent developments in its naval and military programmes.
Biden’s remarks came after US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned in a statement during the summit’s first day that Washington and its Western allies would take aim at a “rapidly developing” China.
Sullivan added that the new G7 initiative aimed to curb China’s growing military prowess and business operations via its BRI project, reported Alina.
“We do think that there is increasing convergence, both at the G7 and at NATO, around the challenge China poses and around the need — the urgent need for consultation and especially alignment among the world’s leading market democracies to deal with some of those challenges,” Sullivan told reporters on 27 June.
Sullivan also raised concern over Beijing’s ‘debt-trapping’ diplomacy during his talks with reporters.
“We want to stand for a set of principles, rules of the road that are fair and understood and agreed by everybody,” Sullivan said. “And we want to ensure that we’re working with like-minded partners to hold China accountable to adhere to those rules.”
The new initiative is a revamping of the Build Back Better World initiative, which was introduced at last year’s G7 Summit. The updated PGII initiative seeks to offer an alternative to infrastructure models that sell “debt traps,” the White House said following Biden’s announcement on 26 June.
In addition to “bullying” debt-riddled countries such as Sri Lanka and Djibouti to sign up for the BRI under the premise of handsome funding for large infrastructure projects, the Chinese regime has also been gaining favours via the BRI.
“Together with G7 partners, we aim to mobilise USD 600 billion by 2027 in global infrastructure investments,” the White House’s statement said.
What started out as an ambitious project (BRI) aimed at “facilitating trade and promoting connectivity and cooperation among countries in Eurasia Africa,” has been plagued with financial problems compounded by China’s stagnating economy due to the country’s “zero-Covid” policies, and subsequent decline in consumer spending and major supply chain disruptions, reported Vision Times.
Analysts have warned that Beijing’s project may well be on its deathbed as financial and logistical challenges brought about by the war in Ukraine, rising geopolitical tensions, and sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia – a key trade partner for China – are threatening to completely derail it.
This year’s G7 Summit has seen European Union (EU) leaders from France, Germany and Italy join forces with usual allies Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States in a three-day event starting on Sunday, 26 June and running until Tuesday, 28 June.
In addition to the regular invitees, a few new countries were also invited to partake in the event this year- with the G7 official website announcing that Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa were also invited to the summit taking place at the historic Garmisch-Partenkirchen resort located in the Bavarian Alps of Germany.
(The Economic Times)