This online summit heralds the return of "multilateralism"?
Action speaks louder than words. The so-called "multilateralism" in some Western countries is not exactly the same as the "multilateralism" recognized by the international community.
"Multilateralism is not a tool for a country to realize its power, or a tool for it. For the international community, people actually don't care about who is the leader, and they want to see concrete practices."
On February 19, local time, a video conference of the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) consisting of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan was held.
This is the first major multilateral meeting that Biden has participated in since taking office as US President, and it is also the first "gathering" of G7 leaders since April last year.
The summit released a signal that has attracted international attention: the joint statement issued after the meeting stated that the G7 will strengthen multilateral cooperation for human health and prosperity and "make 2021 a turning year for multilateralism."
Can an online summit really mean the return of "multilateralism"?
The video conference that day was hosted by British Prime Minister Johnson and lasted two hours.
The summit was originally supposed to be held in the United States in June last year, but it ended without problems due to repeated delays by the host.
After Britain became the rotating presidency this year, the leaders of the seven countries finally realized the "cloud gathering" after more than a month.
Nonetheless, Biden's participation in the conference has attracted the attention of all parties.
"I want to send a clear message to the world-the United States is back." On the same day, Biden first participated in the G7 summit by video call, and then delivered a speech at the opening meeting of the Munich Security Conference.
After he was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, Biden began to overthrow many policies and decisions of the previous administration.
In the first week of his tenure, he signed a record 37 administrative orders; in the past month, the Biden administration announced that it would return to the Paris climate agreement, rejoin the World Health Organization, return to UNESCO, and renew the "New Strategic Weapons Reduction Policy" with Russia. treaty"……
At the G7 Leaders Summit, Biden even mentioned the need to play a leading role in responding to the new crown epidemic and announced that it would allocate 4 billion US dollars to the "New Coronary Pneumonia Vaccine Implementation Plan" (COVAX) that balances global vaccine distribution.
The summit was also interpreted by the outside world as Biden's "first show" at major international conferences after he assumed the presidency of the United States.
In the eyes of analysts, this reflects that the United States urgently needs to reshape its international image, and is eager to seize every opportunity to show the "America is back" mentality, in order to demonstrate the United States' "great power image and leadership."
"We will use our advantages and values as a democratic society and an open economy, work together, and work with other countries to make 2021 a turning point in multilateralism, so that our people and the planet will embark on a healthy and prosperous Road to recovery.” This is the promise made in the joint statement issued after the G7 leaders’ meeting.
At the summit, the Group of Seven nations stated that they will strengthen cooperation in the response to the new crown epidemic, and support the WHO to play a leading and coordinating role; it will speed up the global vaccine development and deployment, cooperate with vaccine manufacturers to increase production, and strengthen the protection of the mutant new crown virus genome. Information sharing on sequencing and other aspects; reaffirmed support for the "Access to COVID-19 Tool Accelerator" initiative, the "New Coronary Pneumonia Vaccine Implementation Plan", and fair access to affordable vaccines, treatment and diagnosis.
In areas such as tackling climate change, developing clean energy, and protecting biodiversity, the G7 supports cooperation under a freer and fairer multilateral trading system and rules.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized in a press conference after the summit that multilateralism must be strengthened globally, and the G7 hopes to strengthen cooperation with China.
Merkel emphasized that in order to rebuild the world economic system, the G7 hopes to strengthen cooperation with the G20, especially with China. The G7 will work on this and strengthen exchanges and dialogue.
In this regard, Xinhua News Agency’s report pointed out that this actually reflects that under the background of profound changes in the world structure, if not seeking broader international cooperation, the out-of-date “small circles” of Western countries like the G7 simply cannot cope with the new crown epidemic alone. Global challenges.
The outside world seems to have certain positive significance for the "multilateralism" proposed by the summit.
In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, John Vogler, an international relations expert at Keele University in the United Kingdom, said that the G7, which represented the interests of developed economies in the 1970s and 1980s, is “somewhat outdated”. It must compete with the Group of Twenty (G20). International multilateral platform cooperation.
"The G20 is important because it covers the major economies in the world today, including China and India. If the West wants to revitalize the post-epidemic economy and respond to climate change, it will inevitably require China's participation and support."
However, some experts have reminded that deeds speak louder than words, and the more important purpose of the declaration of “making 2021 a turning year for multilateralism” is to consolidate Western countries’ right to speak at the center of the world. The United States’ statement is to reshape it. Leadership in the world.
The China News Agency report pointed out that the "multilateralism" that Biden talked about cannot be recognized as the "multilateralism" recognized by the international community, and the two cannot be completely equal.
"Multilateralism is not a tool for a country to realize its power, or a tool for it."
As evidenced by this, at the subsequent Munich Security Conference, Biden emphasized that the transatlantic partnership is the foundation of common security and prosperity for the United States and Europe.
Biden also talked about "preparing for long-term strategic competition with China" and "responding to Russian threats."
Biden said that in response to these challenges, the United States and Europe must once again play a leading role.
In this regard, Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the Institute of International Strategy of the China Institute of International Studies, said in an interview with a reporter from Chinanews.com that for the international community, people actually don’t care about who is the leader, and hope to see real practices. .