Australia, US, India, Japan may set up Belt & Road alternative: Media

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Australia, the US, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China's multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing's spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday, citing a senior US official.

The unnamed official said the plan involving the four regional partners was still "nascent" and "won't be ripe enough to be announced" during Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's visit to the United States later this week.

The official said, however, that the project was on the agenda for Mr Turnbull's talks with US President Donald Trump.

The source added that the preferred terminology was to call the plan an "alternative" to the Belt and Road Initiative, rather than a"rival".

"China might build a port which, on its own is not economically viable.

"We could make it economically viable by building a road or rail line linking that port," the source said. - REUTERS