Xiang Changhe's column G7 global infrastructure plan: another "painting a big cake" project

  From June 26 to 28, the Group of Seven (G7) held their annual summit in the small town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany.

At the opening of the summit, the leaders gathered to take a group photo. The close-up view was a grassy meadow, and the distant view was the snow-capped snow-capped mountains.

This high-profile solidarity show continued to demonstrate pro-Ukraine attitudes, and its announcement of a global infrastructure plan, the "Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership", was also quite noticeable.

  At first glance, the G7's global infrastructure plan is bluffing - the G7 has announced that it will raise $600 billion over the next five years to provide developing countries with funds to develop infrastructure.

Funding sources are mainly divided into three parts: the US government raised 200 billion US dollars through grants, federal government financing and private sector investment; the European Union raised 300 billion euros (about 313 billion US dollars) through the "Global Gateway" initiative proposed in December last year. ); other G7 members pledged to raise some of the funds.

These funds total $600 billion.

This makes the blood of some people who don't know the truth boiling, it seems that the G7 countries are going to be big philanthropists and help developing countries upgrade their weak infrastructure.

  However, upon closer inspection, it is not difficult to find that this global infrastructure plan is just a repackage of an old plan that cannot be fulfilled by itself.

Moreover, the raising of these funds faces great difficulties and uncertainties, and it is almost a "big cake" move to support the facade.

These developed industrial countries, including the United States, are under great pressure to upgrade their infrastructure. How can they spend a lot of money to help developing countries build infrastructure?

This way of fooling the world, the face is not red and the heart is not jumping, it reflects the profound black learning skills of G7.

  First, this initiative is purely a "rebranding" project.

At the G7 summit held in Cabis Bay, Cornwall, England last June, US President Biden proposed the "Rebuild a Better World" initiative, promising to provide $40 trillion by 2035 to "meet low- and middle-income families." The country has a huge need for infrastructure".

Compared with this initiative, the areas of investment in Rebuilding a Better World are almost the same, and the number of committed investments is larger.

Some analysts lamented that the drop from US$40 trillion to US$600 billion is not small.

Over the past year, the implementation of the "Rebuild a Better World" initiative has been bleak.

An article on the website of the U.S. "Foreign Affairs" bimonthly website pointed out that about a year since Biden announced the "Rebuild a Better World" initiative, the U.S. government has invested only about $6 million in global infrastructure, far lower than its initial commitment.

In order to avoid its own embarrassment, the United States proposed the "Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership" to repackage the "Rebuild a Better World" initiative with little success.

  Secondly, the source of funds is a big problem, and it is very likely that it is a blow-off gun.

Every penny spent by the U.S. government needs to be approved by Congress. The Biden administration has pledged to raise $200 billion for this initiative. Can Congress ensure that Congress is willing to appropriate funds for countries other than the United States?

Before, Biden's "rebuilding a better world" infrastructure plan was stuck in Congress, how can we expect the US Congress to agree to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on global infrastructure construction?

The state of American infrastructure itself is a "tragedy", how can congressmen agree to pay for foreign countries?

Moreover, the US congressional midterm elections are about to be held, and opinion polls show that Biden's Democratic Party is likely to lose to the Republican Party, which means that it will be more difficult for the Biden administration to get Congress.

More importantly, with another US election in two years, who can guarantee that the future owner of the White House will be able to "manage old accounts" with new officials?

  The EU is the largest funder, but the initiative is nested within the EU's proposed "global gateway" strategy, where investment projects may overlap.

In December last year, the EU launched the "Global Gateway" strategy, declaring that it will be committed to international stability and cooperation based on the EU's high social, environmental, financial and labor standards.

But so far, the EU is still confused as to whether or not the EU has invested in it, and how much it has invested.

Moreover, the current European economy is very sluggish, and the inflation crisis is hurting people's livelihood and the economy.

In addition, British Prime Minister Johnson is busy keeping his position, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is famous for not investing huge sums of money in pursuit of long-term goals, how can they have the spare time to invest money in foreign countries?

It is completely unrealistic to count on private investment to support this ambitious infrastructure plan, after all, it is questionable how large the scale of corporate and private investment can be.

  Third, impure motives are the fatal wound of this initiative.

The infrastructure construction of developing countries needs the support of the international community, especially developed countries. However, the West launches infrastructure plans out of political motives, which are often difficult to be recognized due to impure motives.

After the G7 high-profile announcement of this initiative plan, many people believe that it contains a calculation of a geopolitical game, targeting the "Belt and Road".

  In March last year, the American think tank Association for Foreign Relations released a report "The Impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on the United States".

According to the report, if the "Belt and Road" is allowed to continue to develop, China will likely enjoy huge gains in international trade, technical standards, political influence, and military deployment.

It is necessary for the United States to adopt a strategy that proposes an effective alternative to compete with the Belt and Road Initiative.

In this context, whether it is last year's "Rebuilding a Better World" initiative or this year's "Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership", all are sharpening the knife for the "Belt and Road".

  China does not object to any country in the world contributing money and efforts to help developing countries improve their infrastructure, and China is happy to see developing countries receive help from the world.

However, global infrastructure construction requires all countries to cooperate, support and complement each other, rather than confrontation or substitution, not calculation and suppression.

  In order to brush up the "sense of presence" and make some bluffing "painting a big cake" project, G7's operation is also drunk.

  Photo courtesy/Visual China