WORLD leaders joined forces yesterday to stop China from spreading its power and influence around the globe.
They are drawing up plans to outflank the communist superpower by pumping billions of pounds into turbocharging green growth into poor countries.
Boris Johnson is spearheading the drive to invest in these nations before China is able to buy a foothold there.
The PM has won the support of G7 leaders behind a plan to transform the financing of massive infrastructure projects in the developing world.
The move comes as US President Joe Biden was pushing for action against China over increasing concerns the pandemic was caused by a laboratory leak in Wuhan.
He is also pushing for its abuses to be condemned in the final communique from the Cornwall summit.
But Mr Johnson’s “Build Back Better for the World” project is aimed at long-term action for the richest nations to compete with the might of Beijing.
A raft of measures will include cash for everything from building railways in Africa to windfarms in Asia.
It is intended to give emerging economies faster access to finance, while accelerating the global shift to renewable energy and sustainable technology.
But its wider goal is to halt the growing influence of China, which is buying stakes in communications systems around the world.
It has already invested in the infrastructure of 70 countries using its “Belt and Road” initiative – and Mr Johnson’s plan will offer other nations an alternative.
The PM’s official spokesman said yesterday: “We have a pragmatic relationship with China. This project stands on its own merits and is in line with the G7’s priorities on ensuring the world builds back better and greener from the pandemic.
“It is designed to ensure developing countries have a choice in finding support from fair minded countries in line with democratic principles.”
The PM yesterday launched a £500 million Blue Planet Fund from the G7 Summit’s ocean-side setting at Carbis Bay.
It will support countries including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.