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Australia, the United States, India, and Japan are planning to match China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Chinese President Xi Jinping first talked about making China more open and connected to the international scene in 2013. Since then, the country has been planning to revive the historic Silk Road to bolster its economy and trade by connecting Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The restoration of the Silk Road is called the Belt and Road Initiative. With a total budget of $900 billion, the initiative aims to strengthen China-dominated Eurasia against the US-dominated transatlantic region. It will include land, air, and maritime transport networks that can create new markets for local Chinese businesses, electric grids, and fiber optic lines.
On another note, Australia, the United States, India, and Japan are also talking about creating their own joint regional infrastructure project. They claim that the project is not meant to rival China’s initiative. Instead, it aims to be an alternative to the said initiative.
It has also been reported that the four countries had back-and-forth discussions regarding the infrastructure project. Last ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines, the leaders of the four nations were even seen talking on the sidelines of the event.
In the same event, the four nations agreed to restore the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD). This initiative intends to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region where China has a strong military presence. It has some similar goals with the Belt and Road Initiative as it also aims to promote peaceful trade of goods, capital, and knowledge among nations.