US President Joe Biden has said he suggested democratic countries unite to finance infrastructure in less developed countries during a call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
US President Joe Biden said he suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call Friday that democratic countries should have an infrastructure plan to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“I suggested that we should have, in essence, a similar initiative, pulling democratic states, helping communities around the world who, in fact, need help,” Biden told reporters.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multibillion-dollar infrastructure program launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, involving development and investment initiatives that would extend from East Asia to Europe.
The project would significantly expand China’s economic and political influence, raising concerns in the United States and elsewhere.
Biden’s remarks came after he said on Thursday he would prevent China from passing the United States to become the most powerful country in the world, pledging to invest heavily to ensure that the United States wins in the ever-growing rivalry between the world’s two largest economies.
Biden plans to unveil a multibillion-dollar plan to modernize U.S. infrastructure next week. He said Thursday that this would ensure increased U.S. investment in promising new technologies, such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and biotechnology.
While voicing concerns and seeking to encourage private sector investment in foreign projects to rival those of the BIS, Washington has yet to convince countries that it can offer an alternative to the Sustained Economic View. by the state proposed by Beijing under the BRI.
More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate on BRI projects such as railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure. According to a Refinitiv database, as of the middle of last year, more than 2,600 projects costing $ 3.7 trillion were linked to the initiative.
However, China said last year that about 20% of BRI projects had been “severely affected” by the coronavirus pandemic.
Countries that criticized the projects as costly and unnecessary were also pushed back against the BRI. Beijing cut some plans after several countries sought to review, cancel or reduce their commitments, citing concerns about costs, erosion of sovereignty and corruption.