Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations gathered in Hiroshima, Japan, from May 19 to 21 for a summit, during which they issued a joint communique that read like a manifesto by a world government poking its nose into other countries’ affairs.
World peace and the global order have been under siege as the G7, dependent on the whims of the United States, has degenerated into a geopolitical tool with deep ideological prejudice and a Cold War mentality designed to contain China and intensify confrontations between political and economic blocs.
With weakening economic heft, representing the world has become a tall order for the G7. When it was founded in the 1970s, the G7 accounted for almost 70 per cent of the global economy. However, with the rise of developing countries and emerging economies, its share of global gross domestic product has continued to fall and is expected to dip to 30 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
A World Bank report reveals that, from 2013 to 2021, the G7 contributed only 25.7 per cent of global growth, less than China’s 38.6 per cent. The US contributed only 18.6 per cent, less than half of China’s share.
As the G7’s slice of the world economy has shrunk, so has its relevance. Today’s G7 has neither the ability nor the will to solve any global political, economic or security problem, and its leaders must adjust to the reality that the group’s influence is waning.
The G7’s charge of “economic coercion” against China is without merit. The US – which resorts to unilateral sanctions, long-arm jurisdiction, decoupling, breakage of supply and industrial chains and politicising and weaponising economic and trade ties – is in fact the origin and main facilitator of “economic coercion”.
From 2000 to 2021, US government sanctions against foreign entities rose by 933 per cent. By 2021, the US had imposed sanctions on dozens of countries around the world, affecting a large portion of the world’s population.
The US is also pursuing decoupling from China in the guise of “de-risking”. To maintain its interests, Washington has abused its power to crack down on Chinese enterprises in key industries at the expense of many multinational companies. Other G7 members should urge the US to review its misdeeds, instead of doing Washington’s bidding as accomplices of “economic coercion”.
The G7’s interference in China’s internal affairs flies in the face of the facts. The G7 communique also made mention of Taiwan and Hong Kong, laying bare its intention to curb China’s rise.
The historical particulars of the Taiwan question are clear. The two sides across the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. The one-China principle is a basic norm for international relations and also the political basis for China and other countries to establish and develop diplomatic relations. However, the G7 has been trying to hollow out the one-China principle and conspire with forces supporting Taiwan independence, posing a serious risk to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Hong Kong is part of China, not a stage for political manipulation by a few foreign forces. Hong Kong’s affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and meddling by the G7 will not be tolerated. Hong Kong has entered a new stage, going from chaos to stability and prosperity with brighter prospects. Attacking China by hyping Hong Kong issues will not fool Hong Kong citizens or fair-minded people in the international community. Rather, such actions only reveal the group’s hypocrisy and hegemony.
The G7 countries face many economic and social problems at home, including a growing rich-poor divide and neglect of the basic rights of those on the lower rungs of the social ladder, triggering protests and strikes in the US and other nations.
In recent months, US banking concerns have widened and the Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a bitter fight over the debt ceiling deadline, which risks pushing the world economy into crisis. If the G7 remains obsessed with its Cold War mentality and condescending attitude to others in the face of these difficulties, it risks losing all respect.
China follows the path of peaceful development, pursues a win-win strategy of opening up and constantly provides solutions to global issues. It stands up for the international order based on international law and rejects any bullying act of hegemony.
As the G7 leaders gathered in Hiroshima, focusing on maintaining their domination of the world order and monopoly over the global economy, the China-Central Asia summit opened in Xian, where China and five Central Asia countries discussed how to achieve common development and build a closer community with a shared future. Unlike the G7, the summit in China sent a cooperative signal to the world.
As a Chinese poem says, “Thick mountains cannot stop the river from flowing into the sea.” Long gone are the days when a handful of countries could freely meddle in others’ internal affairs and manipulate global issues. In the 21st century, the international community – China included – will not accept Western rules that are imposed by the US. The G7 countries should realise they cannot stop this trend; ultimately, those blocking the path of others will find themselves in a dead end.