G7 summit: Spending plan to rival China adopted

Picture courtesy: LEON NEAL/PA MEDIA

G7 leaders seeking to rival China have adopted a plan to support lower- and middle-income countries in building better infrastructure.

President Joe Biden said he wanted the US-backed Build Back Better World (B3W) plan to be a higher-quality alternative to a similar Chinese programme.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has helped finance trains, roads, and ports in many countries.

But it has been criticised for saddling some with debt.

In a statement at their summit in the English county of Cornwall, the G7 leaders said they would offer a “values-driven, high-standard and transparent” partnership.

However, details of how the G7 plan will be financed remain unclear. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the group was not yet at a stage to release financing for its initiative.

The US has been particularly critical of China’s so-called “debt diplomacy”.

The G7, the world’s seven wealthiest democracies, have also committed to a new plan to stop future pandemics.

The measures include cutting the time needed to develop and license vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 to under 100 days. The plan will be officially unveiled on Sunday, alongside the final summit communique.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hosting the three-day gathering at the seaside resort of Carbis Bay.

Courtesy: bbc.com/news