By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, June 14: The world’s seven richest economies in the world, Group-7 (G-7) leaders on Saturday detailed their plans to counter China’s multi-million-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The summit led by US President Joe Biden agreed to provide a transparent infrastructure partnership investment of $40 trillion to democracies around the world. The ‘Build Back Better World’ (B3W) initiative is said to offer a positive alternative to the Chinese government BRI, which has left many countries prey to Beijing’s “debt diplomacy”.
The summit leaders at the end of 3-day summit in a joint statement also urged China to “respect human right and fundamental freedoms” by citing abuses against the Uyghur Muslim community and crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. The countries pledged on a number of different issues concerning China, including the origins of Covid-19 and climate change, and ways to overcome the ongoing pandemic.
Biden at the summit said that he was “satisfied” with the language of the joint statement on China. The group also underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and also demanded a new investigation into the origins of coronavirus. At their first physical summit in almost two years, the B3W plan discussed by the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy called for investment in the private sector designed to compete with President Xi’s BRI which has been accused of influencing countries by creating massive debts.
The Chinese embassy in the UK slammed the G-7 summit of ‘baseless accusations’ on Monday, “Stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests.” It heavily accused the leaders of mentioning Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the statement. “The Group of Seven takes advantage of Xinjiang-related issues to engage in political manipulation and interfere in China’s internal affairs, which we firmly oppose,” an embassy spokesman further said in a statement.