While the world faces numerous challenges, including the devastating effects of Covid-19, the leaders of the G7 summit have shifted their focus to China. These leaders have deviated from real issues and appear to be entering a new cold war situation, ignoring the importance of solidarity in the current critical context of the world. By pushing several American agendas to counter China, US President Joe Biden was able to derail the summit. China, on the other hand, responded that a few countries cannot make decisions for the majority.
Unlike the previous G7 summit, this one focused unnecessarily on Hong Kong, Xinjiang, the South and East China Seas, and the creation of a counter-institutional mechanism to China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Because of the US’s overall influence, G7 leaders agreed to allow a full investigation into the origins of COVID-19, despite the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) had already completed the investigation and issued a preliminary report. The WHO’s findings clearly refuted the US’s accusation. It expressed gratitude to China for providing information and assistance in completing the investigation. However, the US administration hovers aimlessly, disseminating false information about the coronavirus’s origin. The Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom openly condemned the G7 summit statement, claiming that it distorted facts and instituted deliberate disparagement of China. The West must refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. They must recognize that the people and leaders of their respective countries are capable of making decisions and moving forward in accordance with their country’s national interests and requirements.
According to a meeting of the NATO alliance, which is a destructive military alliance led by some Western countries, China is getting closer to the NATO alliance in terms of military competence. General Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General, has warned that China poses a systematic threat to the liberal order. “We need to engage with China on important issues like climate change, Afghanistan, arms control, and other issues,” he added. On Monday, the Chinese Mission to the European Union flatly rejected NATO’s controversial blaming, saying that such statements are a continuation of Cold War mentality and bloc politics, as well as a smear on China’s peaceful development. NATO’s defense budget is approximately 1.17 trillion dollars, or nearly half of the global military budget. China’s defense budget for 2021 is set at $209 billion, or roughly 1.3 percent of GDP.
It is easy to see how the US is driving the majority of the G7’s anti-China agendas. The German Chancellor’s position on the G7 meeting platform was balanced. She stated that China is a competitor in many areas and a valuable partner in others. “Despite disagreements, the G7 wanted to work with Beijing on climate change, trade, development, and other issues,” says French President Emmanuel Macron. I will state unequivocally that the G7 is not a group hostile to China.” On many fronts, the Western world is even more connected and has multiple networks with China. China’s peaceful development history over the last four decades demonstrates that the country is committed to non-interference and cooperation while also contributing to the global community. The United States is concerned that China will soon overtake it. What it fails to recognize is that, even as a superpower, China will remain committed to multilateralism and the rule of law around the world.
President Xi Jinping proposed a “Community of Shared Future for Mankind” approach to promote cooperation, solidarity, global rule of law, inclusiveness, and harmony in order to communicate China’s global position. As realists point out, the US is taking a confrontational stance toward China, which is likely to push relations into a cold war situation. President Biden has already stated that he does not want China to overtake the United States as the world’s leading economy during his presidency. This approach unmistakably demonstrates the United States’ malign intentions toward China and its development achievements.
According to experts, the G-7 leaders’ agreement to provide one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine is insufficient for the developing world. These wealthy G7 nations, who are blaming a large number of vaccines for being hoarded, are also aware that the developing world requires at least 11 billion doses of vaccines to combat the coronavirus. WHO has already asked wealthy nations to be generous in supplying the developing world with vaccines in sufficient quantities. Many experts are surprised by the G7 leaders’ major agendas and seriousness. “Faced with the biggest health emergency in a century and a climate catastrophe that is destroying our planet, they have completely failed to meet the challenges of our times,” says Max Lawson, a policy expert at Oxfam. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also stated that failing to implement a practical and ambitious vaccination plan is an unforgivable moral failure.
The majority of foreign policy experts believe that this year’s G7 summit was convened to pursue a tough stance against China. Another example of the G7’s anti-China stance is a consensus to create an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), known as the Build Back Better World (B3W), which aims to provide necessary infrastructure and other development assistance to developing countries by 2035. However, some economists argue that the G7 group lacks the financial resources to provide trillions of dollars in assistance. They went on to say that the United States needs a large sum of money to carry out the Biden administration’s infrastructure-related development plan. On the other hand, China has been accelerating multiple cooperation around the world through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2013, and has helped many countries achieve their national development goals. According to data from Chinese financial institutions, the BRI has been linked to over 2800 global projects worth $3.7 trillion dollars.
Without a doubt, the G7 summit’s entire consensus goes against international norms, values, the importance of solidarity, and the need for global cooperation to address the world’s multiple challenges. Despite the fact that the G7 is a tool of the US administration, it should recognize that confrontation and decoupling with China will jeopardize global economic stability, rule-based global order, and harmony. More East-West solidarity is required at this time, as well as a more constructive role for the United States and China in creating a safer and better world. China’s peaceful development history demonstrates that a prosperous China will support global peace, stability, and development. The United States should abandon its Cold War mentality and acknowledge China’s strength. The people of both countries, as well as the entire world, will benefit from a cooperative partnership between the United States and China based on the principle of major country relations. If the United States and other members of the G7 alliance want a peaceful and cooperative world, they must abandon their destructive approach and pursue a constructive vision.
Dr. Sharma is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Trans-Himalaya Studies and an associate professor at Leshan Normal University.
Image credit: BBC