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Can the US sell its China-countering infrastructure plan to Europe?

By Olivier Caslin
Posted on Friday, 8 October 2021 12:00

Joe Biden (r.), then vice president, alongside Antony Blinken, deputy secretary of state, during exchanges with South Korean and Japanese officials in Honolulu, 14 July 2016. US Pacific Command/Flickr/Licence CC

On 5 October, ambassadors from OECD member countries met in Paris to discuss the Blue Dot Network, a US-led initiative that aims to develop infrastructure in developing countries and which is seen by many as a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The hushed rooms of the Château de la Muette, the Paris headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), hosted a highly anticipated meeting on 5 October. A high-profile panel addressed the ambassadors of the institution’s 38 member countries.

In addition to Australia’s Mathias Cormann, the OECD’s secretary-general, the panel included Yves Perrier – CEO of Amundi, Europe’s leading asset management company with €1,729bn in assets under management – Brendan Bechtel – CEO of the Bechtel Group, the leading US construction company – and Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State.