In a significant development, the G7 has put forth the vision of a grand infrastructure plan that rival’s Chinese President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative, which has led many countries into severe debt.
The new economic plan, presented by the G7 leaders is known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative.
In a statement the White House said, the “B3W will provide a transparent infrastructure partnership to help narrow the $40 trillion needed by developing nations by 2035”.
“This is not just about confronting or taking on China,” said a senior official from the Biden administration. “But until now we haven’t offered a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and our way of doing business.”
Later, in a statement, the United States said, there was a consensus among G7 leaders for a common approach to take on a range of issues, including trade and human rights.
“The G7 and its allies will use the B3W initiative to mobilise private-sector capital in areas such as climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality”, said the White House.
Details of the B3W plan, including how much capital it would allocate, has not been made public, yet.
It was not immediately clear how exactly the plan would work or how much capital it would ultimately allocate.
In 2013, China launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) scheme, which Xi launched in 2013, ith the purported aim to develop and place investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond. While more than 100 countries have signed up for the scheme, many are facing crippling debts because of it.
The B3W scheme is a transparent alternative for countries to boost their infrastructure development.
Leaders of the G7 – the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan – want to use their gathering in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay to show the world that the richest democracies can offer an alternative to China’s growing clout.
The manner in which China’s Communist Party is leading the country as it tries to emerge as global power, with Beijing picking fights with nearly every country with whom it shares a border, and the outright disregard and theft of intellectual property is seen by many as one of the most significant geopolitical events in recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War.
Until now the West had failed to offer a positive alternative to the “lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach” of the Chinese government that had left many countries worse off, said an official from the United States.
As part of the G7 plan, the United States will work with the U.S. Congress to supplement existing development financing and to “collectively catalyze hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment”, the White House said.
The United States was very concerned of the existence of forced labor camps, essentially modern day concentration camps housing political prisoners and uyghur Muslims, in Xinjiang. There was a “spectrum of how far different countries are willing to go” in their will to address this issue, said a U.S. official.
Later, the G7 arrived at a consensus on China’s “non-market economic practices” and on Beijing’s gross human rights abuses, with the group deciding to coordinate on the resilience of supply-chains.
According to estimates from UN experts and human rights groups, more than 1 million people have been detained in a huge industrial prisons, modern day concentration camps, in Xinjiang.
As usual, China had denied the existence of the camps and had dismissed these accusations but later acknowledged their existence saying, they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism.
In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had “graduated”.
The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comments.