Feb 19, 2018
China is spending billions of dollars to revive its famous Silk Road trade routes in order to increase trade deals around the world in a bid to become a key economic ally of dozens of countries.
It is said that serious discussions are now being held by the United States, Australia, India and Japan, known as ‘the Quad’, as they try to counter Beijing’s spreading influence.
An unnamed US official has been reported in the media as saying Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull is due to discuss the plans for an “alternative” trade link with Donald Trump during a trip to Washington at the end of next week.
In an attempt to downplay the creation of a Silk Road rival, the official added that Chinese growth is not necessarily negative.
The official said: “No one is saying China should not build infrastructure.
“China might build a port which, on its own is not economically viable.
“We could make it economically viable by building a road or rail line linking that port.”
China’s President Xi has dubbed Belt and Road scheme the “project of the century” that will “add splendour to human civilisation”.
He added: “It is open to all like-minded friends.
“It does not exclude or target any party.”
Beijing has always strongly denied claims it is using the project to obtain soft power in a string of foreign countries and insists it is merely leading the way when it comes to a globalised, joined-up economy.
Last year Xi pledged $124 billion in funding for the trade route and enshrined it into the ruling Communist Party’s constitution in October.
Silk road aims to see Beijing linked all the way to Europe.
In January it was also announced China was intending to expand the initiative to the Arctic in the hope of forming a “Polar Silk Road”.
The ambitious plan for economic dominance is said to have worried the Quad who are holding talks to further extend their security relationship and to plan alternatives for financing regional infrastructure to China’s Silk Road.
The group have already held meetings on the proposals, acting just months after China announced their widespread investment on the project last yea
Feb 19, 2018