China has always attempted to portray itself as a supporter of developing nations’ infrastructure and economic growth through its Belt and Road Initiative, however, this was only a ploy to draw them into their debt trap, ANI reported. Looking into that the G7 launched an infrastructure initiative as a substitute program for the developing nations to counter China’s BRI. According to Valerio Fabbri’s article in the Slovenian journal Portal Plus, several media outlets have highlighted examples of BRI disillusionment, and many of the countries that have received Chinese investments have lamented China’s debt trap diplomacy as a result of the BRI.
According to the ANI report, instances from Pakistan and Sri Lanka have demonstrated how the BRI has impacted the nation’s economy. Following a significant loan taken by Sri Lanka for its 2015 elections, Colombo resorted to China for assistance with the Hambantota Port. Beijing requested assistance after discussions on the defence matter were concluded, assuring that China’s military could use the port. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Chinese authorities went around Islamabad to contact the Baloch separatists in order to guarantee the security of the vitally important China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Beijing, meanwhile, has not been overly enthused about preserving Pakistan’s economic stability.
The BRI projects are quite exploitative
As per Fabbri, accepting Beijing’s assistance for infrastructure development has proven to be a poor decision for both Colombo and Islamabad, leaving both nations heavily indebted to China. BRI loans are covered in unclear conditionalities. Beijing frequently meddles in the domestic affairs of the receiving nations; recent examples of this can be found in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Additionally, the BRI projects are quite exploitative. The Chancay Multipurpose Port Terminal, an ongoing port building project in Peru, threatens to wipe off the surrounding flora and wildlife, generate significant harmful pollutants, and uproot local residents, ANI reported.
G7 launched Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment to counter China’s BRI
In response to recent geopolitical events, the G7, which consists of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, France, and Japan, has unveiled the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), a different mechanism that can replace or at the very least mitigate the negative effects of China’s BRI.
The PGII initiative’s main goal is to offer funds to nations in need of vital infrastructures, such as ports, highways, bridges, and communication facilities. In addition to these objectives, the PGII seeks to combat climate change, improve global health, contribute to the development of digital infrastructure, and not neglect gender equality.
The G7 has committed to spending USD 600 billion by 2027 as part of the PGII, but the real amount might be significantly higher because the PGII also allows for the mobilization of significant private resources. With its focus on the human infrastructure at the centre of global development objectives, the PGII effort can be a significant gain for global welfare and sustainable development, in contrast to Chinese initiatives hampered by low cost, loose standards, and rushed timetables, ANI reported.