The President of the United States, Joe Biden, obtained from his first participation in the G7 the hardest statement concerning China since the beginning of the government of President Xi Jinping in 2012. In the statement of the group of industrialized powers, the country Asian is cited directly five times (including a mention of Taiwan).
Articles criticize the lack of transparency in the investigation into the origin of Sars-Cov-2, state intervention and distorting business practices, and failure to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms , notably in Hong Kong and Xingiang, where the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority, live.
In at least 8 more of the 70 elements of the document, which spans 25 pages, the allusion to China between the lines is unmistakable. This is the case with references to forced labor, precarious work, forced transfer of technology, theft of intellectual property and the unfair use of state subsidies, which, without explicitly mentioning the Asian power, address issues consistently attributed by Western leaders to the Chinese. economic system.
In the article citing “the state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities, including in agriculture, solar and clothing”, G7 leaders appear to have stopped two words from ‘include “in Xinjiang”, where all three sectors are present.
In addition to the direct or indirect mentions in the final communiqué, China was almost omnipresent in debates between the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United States. European Union, and not just when they agreed to condemn human rights violations. – as well as in divergent positions. In these, it mainly weighs the European reluctance to confront a country with which the continent has business in progress and in prospect.
Over the past two decades, the UK has received € 50 billion (BRL 310 billion) in Chinese investment, Germany nearly € 23 billion (over BRL 141 billion), l ‘Italy, around 16 billion (BRL). 98 billion euros, and France, 14.4 billion euros (89 billion BRL).
With Joe Biden at the tables in place of former President Donald Trump, the meeting also reflected a shift in strategy to deal with China’s growing power: tariff wars erupt and grants and loans arrive. If the Asian country goes ahead with vaccine exports, democracies are fighting back with “free” vaccination donations.
While China is attracting dozens of countries to its sphere of influence with New Silk Road (BRI) highways, railways and cables, G7 leaders are shaking billions of dollars for projects. infrastructure, but “financially sustainable, transparent and environmentally friendly”.
The Western assault is still a long way from spending resources and hasn’t even defined its values, but it already has a name and acronym: Rebuild Better for the World, or B2W.
Biden echoed the general concept in his speeches at the start and end of the forum in England: Against a competitor with China’s firepower, the battle of democratic countries will only be won if they convince the world that they are a better alternative.
“We are in competition not with China itself, but with autocrats around the world,” he said on Sunday (13).
When asked if he expected the G7 statement to be more explicit in its criticism of China, he replied, “There are several references to China. I am satisfied ”, after noting that he“ was not seeking conflict ”with the rival power.
The Chinese government had previously expressed a different point of view, asserting that “multilateralism must be genuine and not based on the interests of a small circle of countries.” was detected initially, that is, before more politically sensitive points, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, were mentioned.
While the final text shows Biden’s relative success in pushing for a stronger position, European leaders have been more restrained than the US president in his statements.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for example, did not mention China in his final speech, nor B2W. French President Emmanuel Macron, who before the forum had defended “the independence of Europe in relation to the strategy for China”, finally stressed that “the G7 is not hostile” to the Asian country.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen endorsed Biden’s speech that the infrastructure project aims to “convince partners that investment is free compared to China”, but the EU continues to advocate for partnerships with the Asian country on issues such as climate change.
The European bloc also recently approved an investment deal with China, suspended after diplomatic disputes. German Prime Minister Angela Merkel said on Sunday that the treaty should only be ratified if Beijing makes progress in upholding labor rights.
In final commitments, the G7 also accepted new international tax laws to curb the search for tax havens by multinationals, joint projects in areas such as semiconductors, batteries and pharmaceuticals, blocking investments in the use of coal for energy and aid programs in developing countries reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.
The promise to donate 1 billion doses of the anti-Covid vaccine by the end of 2022, which had already been criticized by organizations as insufficient, was ultimately not fully realized. The document speaks of 870 million doses and, according to Boris, they reach 1 billion if we calculate the transfers to the Covax consortium.