Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR


Infrastructure Could Become the New ‘Glue’ in U.S.-China Relations

April 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—An article in today’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) moots the possibility of the interest of the U.S. and Chinese Presidents in infrastructure becoming the centerpiece of a U.S.-China relationship.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping has the chance this week to lay the groundwork for a new era in the often-fraught Sino-U.S. relationship, with infrastructure potentially replacing climate change as the cornerstone for cooperation between two countries, according to diplomatic analysts,"

writes SCMP correspondent Shi Jiangtao. Among the "analysts" is Gal Luft, who works on China policy with the Bud McFarlane group—Institute for Analysis of Global Security—which published a positive report on the Belt and Road Initiative. (McFarlane was a National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan.)

"I think Trump will be intrigued by it [the Belt and Road Initiative], because Trump is very interested in infrastructure and he wants to upgrade American infrastructure and look for opportunities for U.S. businesses,"

Luft said.

Brian Gao, president of the Detroit Chinese Business Association, was also featured in the piece, saying that many Chinese firms were keen to be part of U.S. infrastructure projects because this played to their strength. "Infrastructure projects, from our perspective, do not involve national security," Gao said.

It is widely rumored that President Xi will be coming to the summit with proposals of this nature for the U.S. President.

In a March 31 interview with Xinhua News Agency, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said,

"We are working on the outlines and possible details of the infrastructure initiative. A package will be coming out later ... in the next several months."

She indicated that foreign companies might become involved in the project. Chao said the United States "could certainly learn from other countries.... There are [infrastructure] technologies and skill sets that we don’t possess in the United States."

President Trump has repeatedly praised the up-to-date infrastructure facilities in places like Dubai, Qatar, and China. However, Chao said that whether foreign companies would be allowed to participate in Trump’s new infrastructure programs is still a "subject of discussion right now." Even if they are granted access, she added, foreign companies also need to change their old way of doing business in the United States.