Saturday’s working session at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, is aimed at strategic competition with China, Biden administration officials said, with the aim of positioning the US and its allies to better compete with China in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
Part of that competition will include the “Build Back Better for the World” initiative, what a senior administration official described as a “bold, new global infrastructure initiative with our G7 partners that will be values-driven, transparent and sustainable.”
The infrastructure initiative will work to address a $40 trillion infrastructure gap in lower and middle-income countries, the official said, and is designed to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The G7 will announce “a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards, and our way of doing business,” a second senior official said.
The group will be joining partners and the private sector in “collectively catalyzing hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment for low and middle-income countries that need it."
Officials described the action not as a confrontation, but as the presentation of an alternative path.
This is not about making countries choose between us and China, this is about offering an affirmative, alternative vision and approach that they would want to choose,” the first administration official said.
And in the coming days when Biden travels to the NATO summit in Brussels, NATO countries will be “addressing the security challenge from China directly in a communique” for the first time, per the first senior official.
A second piece of Saturday’s session, the officials announced, is aimed at targeting China’s forced labor practices.
President Joe Biden, the second official said, will be “pressing his fellow leaders for concrete action on forced labor, to make clear to the world that we believe these practices are an affront to human dignity and an egregious example of China’s unfair economic competition.”
The administration is advocating for China to be specifically named in the final G7 communiqué, though it was unclear if it will ultimately end up in the final agreement that will be released Sunday.