China’s FM warns against geopolitical calculations under banner of infrastructure after G7 plan
Published: Jun 27, 2022 06:53 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Photo:

A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry on Monday refuted G7 officials' claims of "debt trap" created by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and warned against geopolitical calculations under the banner of infrastructure building, following the G7's $600 billion plan reportedly aimed at countering the China-proposed BRI. 

Asked about the G7 plan and its aim to counter the BRI at a regular press briefing in Beijing, Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson, said that he had noticed relevant reports and "they also said that China's BRI has created a debt trap… which is a complete false proposition."  

The BRI has brought tangible benefits to the people of the countries concerned, Zhao said. According to the World Bank, if all the transportation infrastructure projects under the BRI framework are implemented, they are expected to generate $1.6 trillion in global revenue annually by 2030, accounting for 1.3 percent of global GDP, 90 percent of which will be shared by partner countries, with low-income and lower-middle-income countries benefiting more, he noted. 

Between 2015 and 2030, 7.6 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty. In fact, none of the BRI partner countries endorsed the claim that the initiative has created a debt trap, Zhao said.

"The US is the real creator of debt traps. Its expansionary monetary policy, lack of regulatory financial innovation, malicious shorting and other practices have exacerbated the debt burden of developing countries and are to blame for relevant countries falling into debt traps," Zhao noted.

As to the G7's $600-billion plan, Zhao made a pointed remark, noting that a year ago, also at the G7 Summit, the US proposed the "Build Back Better World" initiative (B3W), promising to promote a global infrastructure initiative different from the BRI, adding that China welcomes all initiatives that are conducive to global infrastructure construction and there is no issue of relevant initiatives replacing each other.

"But we oppose words and deeds that promote geopolitical calculations under the banner of infrastructure construction and slander the BRI," Zhao said, stressing that regardless of what initiatives are being proposed, "what the international community wants to see is real money and projects that actually benefit the people."

Global Times