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Joe Biden suggests plan to rival China in call to Boris Johnson
27 March 2021, 13:08
Joe Biden has said that he told Boris Johnson in a phone call on Friday that they should work towards a big infrastructure plan to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative.
"I suggested we should have, essentially, a similar initiative, pulling from the democratic states, helping those communities around the world that, in fact, need help," Mr Biden said to reporters.
Speaking of the call, Mr Biden told reporters: “We talked a lot about the need also for Britain and the United States to, to stand together and deal with the whole notion of whether or not NATO stands together, whether we stand united, and whether or not I'd be able to come, and I hope I can, to NATO meeting - I think it's in late June.”
He continued: "One of the things I suggested we do is - we talked about China and the competition they're engaging in in the Belt and Road Initiative. And I suggested we should have, essentially, a similar initiative coming from the democratic states, helping those communities around the world."
China's Belt and Road Initiative was launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013. The project involves the development and investment initiatives stretching from East Asia to Europe.
Joe Biden also told reporters earlier this week that the world is going through a “fourth industrial revolution” China is looking to take advantage of.
Mr Biden said: “They have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world. That's not going to happen on my watch.”
The US President's comments have come after China earlier this week hit MPs and British groups with sanctions.
The move by the Chinese Government came after the UK Government announced coordinated sanctions against four senior Chinese officials over human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Boris Johnson has said that he stands with those who have been hit by the sanctions from China, one of which is former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Those targeted by the sanctions and their family members are now banned from entering China, Hong Kong and Macao. In addition, any property they have in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be banned from doing business with them.