Trilateral rival to BRI underfunded: Analysts

From the Middle East to Africa, China's economic and diplomatic reach is being felt keenly across the globe. Our correspondent in UAE explains China's interests in the Middle East, while another in Australia looks at a newly launched three-way investment scheme seen as a possible counterweight to the Belt and Road Initiative.

(From left) Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and US State Secretary Mike Pompeo posing on Aug 4 before a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 51st Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Singapore.
(From left) Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and US State Secretary Mike Pompeo posing on Aug 4 before a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 51st Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

As China presses ahead with its globe-spanning Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Australia, the United States and Japan appeared to strike back with their own plan to fund regional infrastructure projects.

But the announcement on July 31 seemed only to confirm the difficulties of trying - or appearing - to compete with China's massive trillion-dollar scheme.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2018, with the headline 'Trilateral rival to BRI underfunded: Analysts'. Subscribe