What Happened: The United States has unveiled a certification scheme to support financially sustainable infrastructure development in Asia to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative, the Financial Times reported Nov. 4. The so-called "Blue Dot Network" will assess and rate infrastructure projects to help countries avoid unclear or harmful financing terms — a widespread criticism of Beijing's BRI.
Why It Matters: The U.S.-led initiative could align different Japanese, Australian and EU schemes to more effectively counter Chinese investments in Asia under the BRI.
Background: Various participating countries and Western nations have accused China of turning the BRI into a "debt trap" and setting unfair financing conditions to ensnare countries in long-term loan arrangements.
- Casting an Eye on the Belt and Road Initiative (Aug. 28, 2019)
- Japan Woos a Region Caught Between the U.S. and China (May 13, 2019)
- China Changes Gears on the Belt and Road Initiative (April 26, 2019)