President Biden and other G7 leaders announced on Sunday a plan to raise $600 billion in public and private funds for global infrastructure projects to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Biden said that the US will contribute $200 billion to the project, known as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII). “I’m proud to announce the United States will mobilize $200 billion in public and private capital over the next five years,” he said from Germany.
The US views China’s Belt and Road Initiative as a threat to its influence around the globe and has been discouraging countries from participating in the project in recent years. Biden said the PGII will give countries the opportunity to “see for themselves the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies.”
The PGII will invest money into four major categories: health security, communications technology, clean energy, and gender equality. Biden mentioned several projects already underway, including a $2 billion solar panel development project in Angola.
China responded to the G7 initiative on Monday by accusing the G7 of using it to “smear” China’s Belt and Road Initiative. “China always welcomes all initiatives to promote the construction of global infrastructure. We don’t think there is such an issue of similar initiatives replacing each other,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
“But we oppose the promotion of geopolitical calculations under the banner of infrastructure construction and words and deeds that try to smear and slander the Belt and Road Initiative,” Zhao added.
The PGII is just one step the US and its Western partners are taking against China during President Biden’s tour in Europe this week. At the NATO summit that will be held in Madrid, the alliance is expected to unveil its new Strategic Concept document that will name China as a concern for the first time. The US expects the document will use “strong” language against Beijing.