G7 to announce infrastructure plan to rival Belt and Road Initiative, says US official

The official made allegations against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese government, accusing the project of “lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach.”

The G7 countries will be announcing a new infrastructure plan on Saturday to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The information was revealed by a senior official of the Biden administration to news agency Reuters. A 3-day G7 summit is currently underway at the coastal town of Carbis Bay in the United Kingdom.

The senior US official has revealed that the Biden administration is pushing other countries of the grouping to take action against forced labour in China and the final statement of the G7 summit will include criticism of Beijing.

The official made allegations against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese government, accusing the project of “lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach.” Highlighting the purpose of launching a new infrastructure plan, the official said that currently there is no alternative to the BRI which reflects the values and way of business of the democratic world.

The new infrastructure plan would involve raising several billion dollars from G7 countries, the private sector and other stakeholders which would then be used to fund infrastructure development in low and middle income countries.

Earlier in March, US President Joe Biden had suggested that democratic countries must build a rival to the Chinese project in his talks with UK PM Boris Johnson. At the G7 summit, Biden will also be pressing other countries to condemn China’s human rights violations including its alleged use of forced labour in the Xinjiang province.

Known earlier as ‘One Belt, One Road’, the BRI is a global infrastructure development plan worth trillions of dollars that aims to create maritime and land-based connections between Asia, Africa and Europe. It is the pet project of China’s current President Xi Jinping and was launched in 2013. Till now, more than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to build infrastructure under the initiative.

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