The Strategist

G7 countries agree to launch an alternative to China's Silk Road

06/14/2021 - 04:25

G7 countries have agreed to launch an initiative aimed at building infrastructure in developing countries. It will be a Western competitor to China's One Belt, One Road project, the FT says.

Georgina Coupe, Crown Copyright via flickr
Georgina Coupe, Crown Copyright via flickr
The G7 countries have agreed to launch an international initiative Build Back Better World in order to create infrastructure in developing countries, the need for which is estimated at more than $40 trillion, the White House website reported. 

In the framework of the initiative, funds will be directed to projects in the areas of climate change, health, digital technologies and gender equality, according to the report. The initiative's underlying principles include transparency of funding, alignment with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and mobilisation of private capital, for example.

The initiative implies that supported countries will have greater access to finance for low-carbon projects, such as wind farms and railways, the Financial Times said. 

The G7 initiative is a Western rival to China's New Silk Road, also known as the One Belt, One Road project, the FT notes. US President Joe Biden has called for a new source of infrastructure funding for poor countries, creating a "democratic" alternative to Chinese loans, which are seen in the West as a tool for spreading Beijing's influence, the newspaper says. It notes that some officials have described the initiative as a "green Marshall Plan" but on a smaller scale. 

China has criticised the G7 countries, pointing out that a "truly multilateral relationship" is based on UN activities, the FT notes.