US President is planning an American-led alternative to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure plan in South America, in order to thwart Beijing’s global ambitions.
Biden will send a team of officials to Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama next week in efforts described by the White House as “rebuilding is better for the world.” It follows talks at the G7 summit in Coronal this summer to establish a plan to rival China’s Global Investment Initiative.
United States was late to the game, as 19 governments across Latin America and the Caribbean joined the Belt and Road Initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 to build ports, roads, railways, and internet networks. More than 100 countries have joined the Beijing initiative, making it even greater political and diplomatic forces. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become the centerpiece of the BRI, which aims to build infrastructure, expand trade links, and deepen ties across Eurasia and Africa.
Dalip Sen, the US deputy national security adviser for international economics, is expected to lead a delegation to meet the presidents of Cambodia and Ecuador and the Minister of Public Works of Panama, as well as business leaders and civic activists, Bloomberg reported.
This comes after the launch of other US initiatives that are seen as aimed at confronting China, including the Aquos security agreement with Britain and Australia, and the first personal meeting of the Quad Group last week with India, Japan, and Australia.
Biden discussed infrastructure plans with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they held bilateral talks at the White House. India has refused to join the Belt and Road Initiative and remains at odds with China over border disputes.
Across the developing world, White House officials say, there are potential infrastructure projects worth more than $40 trillion through 2035, including solar power plants in India, water treatment facilities in El Salvador, and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals in South Africa that could produce a treatment for Covid-19.