President Biden’s personal triumph is the most salient result of the G7 Communique 2021. He has successfully convinced other leaders to add Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan (in paragraph 48) as well as Indo Pacific and South China Sea (paragraph 60) into the G7 statement (see Consilium.europa.eu 2021 June 13).
At least three points to note.
First, the G7 statement says “we commit to increase cooperation on supporting democracy …” It more or less admits the fact that democracy as a socio-political institution in the West is in big trouble to the extent that some sort of rectifications or repairs have to be done so as to “support” it. Or otherwise, democracy will collapse soon (read 2018 book ‘How Democracies die’ by two Harvard professors). A recent global poll also finds that the U.S. is seen as the biggest threat to democracy (The Guardian 2021 May 5).
Domestically, lots of unrests, ranging from France’s Yellow Vest Movement, USA’s BLM and Capitol Riot, to Canada’s haunting reminder of school children deaths and Italy’s right-wing rise, etc, are revealing the erosion of democracy’s pillars.
Second, the Statement highlights a system: “…In the context of our respective responsibilities in the multilateral system …”
Biden frankly accept a new normal has consolidated, namely, the USA’s days of dominant unipolarity have gone with the wind. We as outsiders do not know how Biden replied to this question from the Europeans, “What can you offer to us in exchange for our assistance to your measures preventing China from dethroning USA?” (French President Macron said “China should not be the alliance’s priority…” Reuters 2021 June 10)
Third, whatever the statement says, be it a new G7-led global anti-Belt-and-Road project (paragraph 67) or an upgrade of the global health system (paragraph 16), like all other previous statements (do you still remember what the G7 said last year or those in the early 21st Century?), G7’s ability to realize these projects are nowhere to be seen.
G7’s messy performance in the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that these democratic governments cannot even take care of their own elderly populations. China, on the contrary, has proved its efficiency and effectiveness in putting the pandemic under control, thus protecting not just human lives but also economic dynamics.
While the US still has the privilege of printing money by painting pictures on white sheets of paper and creating zeros in the computer, the ‘dedollarization’ movement has been working. For building infrastructure in the developing countries, what are required are technologies, manpower, raw materials and trusts in builders’ project management skills, not sheets of pictures.
The G7 2021 meeting remains the same: empty talks. If there is really something real, it is the USA-Japan-Australia military coalition in the Pacific which works on the sideline but solidifies the commitments to actions. The Europeans will be more than happy to watch as audience.
The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China News.
Categories: Politics & Law