At the recent G7 meeting in the UK, the group leaders pledged to launch a Build Back Better World (B3W) project under which $40 trillion are to be given to developing countries in the coming years. This reminds me of Cold War tactics.
An economic package of the same kind was introduced by the US, which was named the Marshall Plan, to rebuild European countries in the wake of the devastations witnessed in World War II. The purpose of the assistance was not goodwill or compassion for the affected countries, rather a carrot to prevent them from falling into the communist lap. History has just been repeated. The US and other wealthy countries were already aware of the grave problems facing the Third World countries even prior to the announcement of the package. However, no assistance was announced until China, with its economic and infrastructural outreach under CPEC, gave these countries a wake-up call.
The timing of the project is also important. It sends a clear message to China that the US and its allies are ready for competition. A question arises as to why the US becomes more generous and compassionate whenever its stature as the ultimate superpower comes under threat. Can’t it behave like this all the time either with or without the title?
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2021.