G7 Contests China’s BRI by backing US-based B3W

Joe Biden meets the other officials of the G7 forum on Saturday in England.

The group of seven (G7) countries on June 12 finally backed a new global plan to help the poor nations of the world. The White House stated that this initiative has been taken to counter the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative ) which was started by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.

The BRI is a trillion-dollar scheme that includes the development and encourages investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond.

The group of seven is an internal-government political platform that consists of seven rich countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and France. There are annual gatherings that take place annually, with member heads and officials from European Union.

Climate activists from Oxfam, wearing giant heads depicting the leaders of the G7, sit on beach chairs as they participate in an action on Swanpool Beach in Falmouth, Cornwall, England on Saturday. AP/PTI

 

Over 100 nations had signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways, and other infrastructure. Unfortunately, it has been questioned for struggling with debt, the Chinese foreign ministry had mentioned in June 2020 that about 20% of their projects were seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new initiative adopted by the G7 is inspired by the United States project, ‘Build Back Better World (B3W)’. The meeting on Saturday is said to bridge the $40 trillion infrastructure gap in the developing world. The G7 along with external partners will focus on increasing the private sector capital, which will lead to an investment in ‘climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality.’

Regardless of this effort made by the G7, there has been no structure of the implementation of this plan. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor had mentioned that the group is still away from the release of the financing for this initiative.

“B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific,” the White House said.

Simultaneously, the G7 has also discussed how to control the pandemic.
A week before the G7 summit, President Biden announced that the US will donate 500 million doses to poor countries, followed by Boris Johnson, UK’s prime minister, who stated that the UK will send out more than 100 million doses of Covid vaccine to poorer countries in the next year.
On a three-day gathering held by Boris Johnson, the group managed to file a series of measures to control the spread of covid-19 across the globe. One such approach is cutting the time needed to develop vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 to under 100 days, followed by:

  • Reinforcing global surveillance networks and genomic sequencing capacity.
  • Support for reforming and strengthening the World Health Organization (WHO).

After the release of the B3W plan, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has expressed his support towards the cause. He supported the idea of improving global health governance and emphasized the need for a “One Earth One Health” approach to this.

While India’s death toll reached over 200,000 lost their lives to the second wave of the pandemic, the country saw international support was seen towards the end, with oxygen supplies coming in from the West. This strenghten the idea of a common approach towards the fight against the pandemic and PM Modi called for the supply chain to be open for vaccine raw materials and testing kits.

If the G7 Coronavirus plan is accomplished within the given time frame, it will be a sign of relief for many such countries that are certainly preparing themselves for the third wave of the pandemic.

While both the major steps that were taken by the richest countries of the world seem promising, the world awaits to see the actual implementation of the same.

 

 

 

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