Japan, Australia, the United States and India are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure project as an alternative to China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing's spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review reported Monday, citing a senior U.S. official.

In an interview Monday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed that senior officials from the four countries are discussing establishing a joint infrastructure plan.

The officials have discussed "a range of opportunities and challenges," Bishop told Sky News. "There is an enormous need for infrastructure, particularly in our region."