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Japan the EU Sign an Ambitious Deal to Build Infrastructure in the Developing World With an Eye on Countering China

JOHN THYS / AFP

Japan and the European Union signed a so-called “connectivity partnership” to build infrastructure and set development standards in joint projects around the world. While neither the agreement nor the leaders from either side mentioned China by name, it’s widely believed that this deal is intended, in part, to challenge China’s dominance in building infrastructure in places like Asia, Africa and the Americas and along Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

This week’s agreement with the EU echoes some of the themes that the Japanese government raised in its recent Japan-Africa summit, TICAD7, that it convened in August in Yokohama, where it said it would emphasize “high-quality construction” and “international development standards” for project financing, both widely interpreted to be back-handed disses directed at China.

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