By Yew Lun Tian
BEIJING (Reuters) -China is willing to work with the United States on a G7-led global infrastructure plan and welcomes Washington to join its Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday.
The Group of Seven (G7) richest democracies, consisting of United States and its allies, proposed the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative in June to help developing countries meet infrastructure needs, as they sought to counter China’s growing influence. “We are also willing to consider coordinating with the U.S. ‘Build Back Better World’ initiative to provide the world with more high-quality public goods,” Wang said in a video message at an event for the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique, which marked the normalising of relations between United States and China.
He said China is also open to the United States participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Global Development Initiative, a call by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September for all countries to work towards sustainable development. G7’s B3W initiative is seen as an alternative to rival China’s BRI, which was launched by Xi in 2013. More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.
Wang urged Washington to work with China in Asia-Pacific to build a “family of openness, inclusiveness, innovation, growth, connectivity and win-win cooperation”, rather than turn the region into one of conflict and confrontation. The Shanghai Communique, a document which marked the end of isolation between both countries and issued during then U.S. President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China, meant that two major powers with different social systems were willing to coexist peacefully, he said.
Wang reiterated a call for the United States to stop supporting independence for Taiwan, a self-ruled island China claims as its own.