Belt and Road challenged

AUSTRALIA (澳洲), the United States, India (印度) and Japan (日本) are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative.
The move is an attempt to counter Beijing’s (北京) spreading influence, reports said, citing a senior US official who described the plan as being still “nascent”.
The official said the project was on the agenda when Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (特恩布爾) talked with US President Donald Trump (特朗普) during his US visit in the last week of February.
The source added that the preferred terminology was to call the plan an “alternative” to the Belt and Road initiative rather than a “rival”.
Quoted by the Australian Financial Review, the official said, “No one is saying China should not build infrastructure. China might build a port which, on its own, is not economically viable. We could make it economically viable by building a road or rail line linking that port.”
The HK$967.2 billion initiative is a vehicle for China to take a greater role on the international stage by funding and building global transport and trade links in more than 60 countries.
Beijing last month announced plans to extend it to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming, forming a ‘Polar Silk Road’ (冰上絲綢之路).

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 28 February 2018)

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