Is This a Joke? US Launches ‘Blue Dot Network’ as Answer to China’s Belt and Road

It might as well be

Chinese President Xi Jinping six years ago launched New Silk Roads, now better known as the Belt and Road Initiative, the largest, most ambitious, pan-Eurasian infrastructure project of the 21st century.

Under the Trump administration, Belt and Road has been utterly demonized 24/7: a toxic cocktail of fear and doubt, with Beijing blamed for everything from plunging poor nations into a “debt trap” to evil designs of world domination.

Now finally comes what might be described as the institutional American response to Belt and Road: the Blue Dot Network.

Blue Dot is described, officially, as promoting global, multi-stakeholder “sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.”

It is a joint project of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Now compare it with what just happened this same week at the inauguration of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

As Xi stressed: “To date, China has signed 197 documents on Belt and Road cooperation with 137 countries and 30 international organizations.”

This is what Blue Dot is up against – especially across the Global South. Well, not really. Global South diplomats, informally contacted, are not exactly impressed. They might see Blue Dot as an aspiring competitor to BRI, but one that’s moved by private finance – mostly, in theory, American.

They scoff at the prospect that Blue Dot will include some sort of ratings mechanism that will be positioned to vet and downgrade Belt and Road projects. Washington will spin it as a “certification” process setting “international standards” – implying Belt and Road is sub-standard. Whether Global South nations will pay attention to these new ratings is an open question.

The Japanese example

Blue Dot should also be understood in direct comparison with what just happened at the summit-fest in Thailand centered on the meetings of East Asia, the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The advent of Blue Dot explains why the US sent only a junior delegation to Thailand, and also, to a great extent, why India missed the RCEP train as it left the pan-Asian station.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is still between a rock – Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy – and a hard place – Eurasia integration. They are mutually incompatible.

Blue Dot is a de facto business extension of Indo-Pacific, which congregates the US, Japan, Australia – and India: the Quad members. It’s a mirror image of the – defunct – Obama administration Trans-Pacific Partnership in relation to the – also defunct – “pivot to Asia.”

It’s unclear whether New Delhi will join Blue Dot. It has rejected Belt and Road, but not, finally and irrevocably, RCEP. ASEAN has tried to put on a brave face and insist differences will be smoothed out and all 16 RCEP members will sign a deal in Vietnam in 2020.

Yet the bottom line remains: Washington will continue to manipulate India by all means deemed necessary to torpedo – at least in the South Asian theater – the potential of Belt and Road as well as larger Eurasia integration.

And still, after all these years of non-stop demonization, the best thing Washington could come up with was to steal Belt and Road’s idea and dress it up in private bank financing.

Now compare it, for instance, with the work of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia. They privilege the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, an original Indonesian idea, instead of the American version. The institute’s president, Hidetoshi Nishimura, describes it as “a guideline for dialogue partners” and stresses that “Japan’s own vision of the Indo-Pacific fits very well with that of ASEAN.”

As much as Nishimura notes how “it is well known that Japan has been the key donor and a real partner in the economic development of Southeast Asia throughout the past five decades,” he also extols RCEP as “the symbol of free trade.” Both China and Japan are firmly behind RCEP. And Beijing is also firmly stressing the direct connection between RCEP and Belt and Road projects.

In the end, Blue Dot may be no more than a PR exercise, too little, too late. It won’t stop Belt and Road expansion. It won’t prevent China-Japan investment partnerships. It won’t stop awareness all across the Global South about the weaponization of the US dollar for geopolitical purposes.

And it won’t bury prevailing skepticism about the development project skills of a hyperpower engaged on a mission to steal other nation’s oil reserves as part of an illegal Syrian occupation.

Source: Asia Times

  1. StillSameTeddyfromCD says

    Hey old fruendss on disqus..ack here after a long two yr spell mostly in Facebook ( which I never bothered eith before that..but due to “advice” by typical family more out of tunecwith real stuff and into “”Social media””…

    Andcto CONFIRM FACEBOOK IS INDEED A PRISON PLANET…Banning..disappearing articles..comments ..blocking …ANYONE that criticizes?? Israel…that us now without question…


    So spread the word ..BEWARE OF ZUCKERBERG.S “world” …if you really care about things,like ws talk about here…you ADD that to your discussions when possible.
    I m GLAD HE S BANNED IN CHINA!! LOL…and i will my part in spreading this everywhere i used to join in.RT.SPUTNIK..TASS..VESTI .GLOBALTIMES..
    COMMONDREAMS…..UNZ REVIEW…NEWER ONES LIKE THIS WEBSITE…AFRICAN SITES….tell! Them soread the word..sign up to VKONTAKET Russia…switch if you cannot their pattforms and BETTER s a BIG WAY I fighting back against ZUCKY S EMPIRE USA ZION. LOL. ..let my stupid VASSAL minded FILIPINOS stick ig out with their SILLY SUPEREFICIAL “Social media self display pictures adoration” of…

  2. StillSameTeddyfromCD says

    Even coming up with juicy TITLES…USA I losing its DOT ..MY A$$ it’s “democracy freedom human rights .fiighting terrorism drugs..”Nonsense…lol..

  3. StillSameTeddyfromCD says

    Not the only joke….look at its Obama era “”free market” pact to rush Asian countrues AWy from China AND Russia…thaf sid ificalkg excluded thd two…ASIAN COUNTRIES ..looking at the bottom line..unceremoniously rejected it …IN BEIJING HOSTED APEC Yearsxaho and Obama went home from his Beijing hectoring with NOTHING in his

    Now..guess what..RUSSIA CHINA ARE launching by end ov 2020 a JOINT Global ifrastructurd prom focused in improving TRANSPORTATION of public mass transit r…specifically subways Mass rail transits in urban centers across the globe!!! That IS MASSIVE Operation with their joint expertise with those Soviet era GORGEOUS Russ stations and rail PLUS China s futuristic mass high speed transport….the USA west COMBINED …can not possibly compete against!

    Same with china.s “”INVITATIONAL” ..$10 TRILLION PROJECT to commercialize thd EARTH MOON Corridor….starting in 2024!

    What s the usa got to offer…STAR WARS? the others be surely joined by Iran central asia ASEAN south America ..Africa (whole continent was represented in SOCHI Russia 2weeks ago) …aren’t t gonna PUT UP WITH MORE OBSTRUCTIONISM BY USA…THEY LL CREATE A DEFENSE SYSTEM ..of true international joint projects …FROM USA TROUBLEMAKING. THE USA…*WILL* LOSE as humanity ..led by China Russia…go to the heavens.

  4. Barbar says

    It’s a Yelp for imperialist whining about China.

  5. Ralph Knight Mogridge says

    US, Japan and Australia missed the boat!!!

  6. Peter 9982 says

    We American don’t want to help other nations unless they but our over priced weapons. No one really help Africa until China started and now France is smart enough to join in as partner.

  7. Joe says

    Stealing a poor man’s oil is shameful

  8. JustPassingThrough says

    “Blue Dot” aptly named after a strain of cannabis.
    Sativa, cerebral high.
    tells you a lot about this joint project. 🙂

  9. Mistaron says

    About time the US concentrated on fixing its own crumbling infrastructure and lop-sided economy, before locking horns with increasingly independent-thinking nations half way round the world. The tide is turning against the bloated hegemon.

  10. thomas malthaus says

    Dollar-related trade and loans with a Washington fixation is quickly becoming very passe.

    1. James Willy says

      not quickly enough.

  11. CHUCKMAN says

    Excellent summary with an appropriate mocking tone.

  12. Joe says

    Want to build infrastructures? Start by upgrading your own first .

  13. brightside says

    Unable to compete fairly, the USA will use every trick (dirty) in the book to try to ruin whatever competition there is.

  14. Tenant1234 says

    Not a joke, just wishful thinking .

  15. Ilya says

    I mean if you are actually gonna build infrastructure, good on you, and compete away, but I would say the US is sorely in need of some of that blue-dot thinking!

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