‘Biden’s B3W too late to challenge BRI, CPEC’

Experts say region’s big powers likely to oppose US hegemony in Asia

News Desk June 28, 2021

Speakers at a Devcom-Pakistan webinar held the other day stressed that the five big powers of the region –China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan-- may come to a formal collaboration against the US hegemonic interventions in the region.

They added that the US should learn from its defeat in Afghanistan and the other wars that it has foolishly promoted and refrained from such adventures in future.

The experts said the US is making its utmost efforts to ignite a new cold war in the region, this time against China. The Build Back Better World (B3W) is a copycat project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that has engaged 140 countries by now.

They said the B3W partnership of G-7 countries would take a long time to mature any outline of actual interventions. The big question is from where the huge sum of money would come, whereas the G-7 nations and the private sector will not compromise their trade and economic ties with China.

Devcom-Pakistan and DTN organised the webinar on the subject, “Biden’s G-7 Build Back Better World (B3W) and the emerging situation in the region”.

Geopolitical commentator and Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed hosted and moderated the webinar. While introducing the subject, Munir Ahmed said, “B3W is an apparent tool to challenge the deep-rooted BRI for obvious reasons.

Read Biden criticised for ignoring Pakistan over Afghan drawdown

Through B3W, the G7 and other like-minded partners will coordinate in mobilising private-sector capital in four areas of focus—climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality—with catalytic investments from the respective development finance institutions.

The B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific. Different G7 partners will have different geographic orientations, but the sum of the initiative will cover low- and middle-income countries across the world.”

Senator Sayed Mushahid Hussain the US has lost its credibility over the years. "No one is willing to trust whatever plans the US offers in partnership with other developed countries. At the moment, the US is withdrawing from Afghanistan as a defeated country, and without any settled accord among stakeholders.

The rise of the Taliban has increased the security concerns for the region. In this situation, no country is willing to trust G7 and the US. Pakistan has already refused air-bases to the US. The new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has already strongly condemned the US approach towards Iran," he maintained.

He added that the B3W will not be able to take off as a challenge to the BRI. Only India is expected to join it being the US ally against China despite its many economic interests associated with neighbouring China, he stated.

Indian expert Soumya Awasthi said the B3W is expected to have more transparent and accountable mechanisms being a multipartite initiative to challenge BRI. "Nothing is clear as to how it would compete with BRI or curtail China’s economic growth," he maintained.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2021.


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