This week, President Joe Biden is traveling to Europe for meetings with NATO and Group of Seven (G7) leaders. The White House has plans to use the summits to increase Western pressure on China.
Biden is currently in the German Alps on the first leg of his trip. On Sunday, he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to kick off the G7 summit. During the meeting, Biden announced a $600 billion global infrastructure initiative to combat Chine’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Washington claims Beijing’s BRI invests money in developing countries but uses the debt to coerce governments into adopting pro-China policies.
A senior US official speaking with reporters said Western nations believe early participants in BRI are experiencing buyer’s remorse, and the G7’s initiative would have an edge. "There’s no doubt that BRI has been around for several years and it’s made a lot of cash disbursements and investments," the official said. "But I would argue that it is definitely not too late. And I’m not even sure that it is late."
The President said the US will contribute by mobilizing $200 billion in grants, federal funds and private investment over five years. According to Biden, the five-year plan – dubbed the Partnership for Global Infrastructure – will target climate change, global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure. He indicated the initiative will also be used further his foreign policy goal of promoting democracy. We will “see the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies,” Biden said.