Four Countries Prepare an Alternative to the Chinese "One Belt One Road" Initiative
Australia, the United States, Japan and India are negotiating a joint regional infrastructure scheme to be an alternative to China's One Belt One Road, and to counter the growing influence of Beijing, according to Australian Financial Review magazine quoted by Reuters.
The magazine refers to a senior US official who said the plan of the four regional partners was at an early stage and would "not be ready to be disclosed" to the public during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to the United States later this week.
The source, however, specified that the project is being discussed seriously and will be one of the talks between Turnbull and President Donald Trump. He added that it is now called an "alternative," not a "rival" of the Chinese One Belt One Road initiative.
"No one says that China should not build infrastructure, China can build a port that is not economically profitable, we can make it economically viable by building a road or a railroad linking this port, the officer added.
Japan intends to use development aid in favor of a broad "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy", including "High-quality Infrastructure," says the White Paper on Development Assistance in 2017. This strategy has been endorsed by Washington and is also seen as a counterbalance to the One Belt, One Road initiative, "Reuters said.
The Chinese initiative, presented for the first time in a speech by Chinese President Xi Jingin to students in Kazakhstan in 2013, is a tool with which China wants to take on a greater role on the international scene by funding and building global transport and trade links in more than 60 countries, Reuters reminds.
The United States, Japan, Australia and India have recently resumed the four-year talks that began ten years ago to deepen security cooperation and coordinated infrastructure financing, as opposed to what China has proposed.
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