US President Joe Biden said that he suggested British PM Boris Johnson that democratic countries should create a programme similar to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to help develop nations in need. The two leaders spoke by telephone on March 26, following which Biden said that the Chinese initiative was among topics of discussion. BRI is a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping involving development and investment initiatives that would stretch from East Asia to Europe.
While speaking to reporters, the US President said, “I suggested we should have, essentially, a similar initiative, pulling from the democratic states, helping those communities around the world that, in fact, need help”.
US ‘going to make real investments’
Biden’s remarks come after he said on Thursday that China’s ambition of becoming the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world is “not going to happen on my watch”. The US President even vowed to invest heavily to ensure America prevails in the rivalry between the world’s two largest economies. During a press conference, Biden also said that he would work with US allies to hold China accountable for its actions on Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and its treatment of the Uyghur minority, as well push Beijing to stick to international rules for fair trade.
Moreover, Biden went on to say that he would ensure increased US investment in promising new technologies, such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. He said that he aimed to return US investment in research and technology development closer to the 2% of GDP invested in the 1960s from the current rate of about 0.7%. “The future lies in who can, in fact, own the future as it relates to technology, quantum computing, a whole range of things, including in the medical fields,” he said.
Biden noted that China is spending three times more than the US on infrastructure, but he also said, “We are going to make real investments”.
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