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China’s frosty reaction to alternative Belt and Road project

Feb 23, 2018 by

Photo by Zhipeng Ya on Unsplash

Plans by US, Australia, India and Japan to develop infrastructure programs in the Asia-Pacific region have caught Beijing by surprise

By Gordon Watts –

In an alternative world, it is an intriguing possibility. A series of stripped-down regional infrastructure projects to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the trillion-dollar program of ‘New Silk Road’ superhighways, connecting the country with Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

But in reality, this proposed plan by Australia, the United States, India and Japan is starting to resemble a “threat” to the world’s second-biggest economy’s ambitions of increasing its global footprint.

As news leaked out about the blueprint from a senior US official in the influential Australian Financial Review, Beijing immediately viewed it as an attempt to counter its spreading influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Before leaving for a trip to the United States for a meeting with the US President Donald Trump in Washington, the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tried to put the project into perspective.

Asked about the scheme, he blamed the media for always looking at issues as if they were Cold War-style rivalries. “That’s not the way we see the region,” he told Sky TV.

Source: China’s frosty reaction to alternative Belt and Road project | Asia Times

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