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Biden’s focus on climate change could turn up the pressure on China’s mega infrastructure program

Biden’s focus on climate change could turn up the pressure on China’s mega infrastructure program

-China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative has been criticized for financing and building infrastructure projects that harm the environment.

-Beijing has said it would focus more on cleaner projects under the Belt and Road Initiative — but it has little concrete results to show so far, said analysts.

-U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s focus on fighting climate change could make it harder for China to “greenwash” its mega program, said Jonathan Hillman, a senior fellow at American think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

SINGAPORE — U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to prioritize fighting climate change could turn up the pressure on China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative — which has been criticized for financing and building infrastructure projects that harm the environment.

“Strong U.S. leadership for addressing climate change will make it harder for China to greenwash the Belt and Road,” Jonathan Hillman, a senior fellow at American think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNBC via email.

Launched in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative or BRI is an ambitious program to build physical and digital infrastructure that connect hundreds of countries from Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Many critics consider the initiative Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy to expand his country’s global influence.
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