The G7 countries have agreed to a major project to help developing countries with their infrastructure. The deal came on the second day of the Cornish summit of Britain’s seven richest democracies. There is still no agreement on how to hold China accountable for human rights violations.
Details of the infrastructure plan are not yet clear. For example, it is not yet known how much money is involved and how countries will be helped in concrete terms. The truth is that money is being sought in the private sector for investments in projects in the fields of climate, health, digital technology and (gender) equality.
The president of the United States, Biden, asked for an agreement. He would like the G7 countries to counter China’s growing economic power. Forty years ago, the Chinese economy was smaller than Italy’s. The country is now the second largest economic power in the world, with a leadership position in many new technologies.
New Silk Road
In 2013, China started a global infrastructure project called the New Silk Road. Since then, agreements have been signed with more than a hundred countries around the world for the construction of ports, railways, airports and roads, among other things.
A US official says the infrastructure plan is not just designed to outperform China. “It is true that until now we did not have a positive alternative based on our standards and values and our way of doing business.”
The G7 countries have yet to agree on condemning the forced labor of Uighurs in China. President Biden also insists at this point that a strong signal be sent in the closing statement, tomorrow on the last day of the summit.
The issue has been discussed bilaterally in several consultations today, but agreement on a joint text has not yet been reached. The UK, France and Canada are reportedly backing the US and ready to send a strong signal. Germany, Italy and the European Union favor greater caution, says a US official.
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