A tireless "China seminar"? G7 foreign ministers will play up the "China challenge" and plan to counter the so-called "economic coercion"
[Global Times Comprehensive Report] The G7 foreign ministers meeting held in London on the 5th was overshadowed by the fact that the Indian delegation participating in the meeting was tested positive for the new crown virus.
This incident highlights the severity of the current epidemic situation.
This is the first offline “event” held by the G7 in two years. The epidemic and related issues should have become important topics, because the G7 was established to coordinate economic policies among the world’s major industrial powers. However, whether it is the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in London Before the convening, or during the discussion time of various hot topics during the meeting, it was shown that the Chinese issue was placed at the top of the agenda.
In the words of an American think tank scholar, "the larger background of this conference is China."
In particular, the US Secretary of State Blincoln has continuously expressed his stance on how to deal with China in the past few days.
He has made frequent accusations against China, and has repeatedly stated that he "does not contain China", saying that the United States and China are not a "cold war" relationship, but the specific actions of the United States have raised doubts among the outside world.
It is worth noting that at this G7 foreign ministers’ meeting, non-G7 members such as India, South Korea, and Australia were invited to participate. Western media and scholars advocated the birth of a broader democratic family. The latest global report released by a Danish non-profit organization Sex polls show that the United States, which prides itself as the chief guardian of global democracy, is indeed the greatest threat to democracy.
The tireless "China Symposium"
"In the first meeting after the outbreak, the G7 sought a common front with China." On the 4th, the G7 foreign ministers met to discuss China issues. According to AFP, officials at the meeting began after a dinner focusing on Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs the day before. Formal talks, and the first meeting was to discuss China.
In order to prevent the epidemic, they touched each other's elbows to welcome each other, and the number of on-site staff was minimized.
According to reports, as China's military and economic strength continues to increase, and its willingness to exert influence, Western countries are increasingly worried.
A senior US official told reporters after the meeting that ministers issued warnings about China's human rights record and China's "economic coercion" policy against other countries.
The "China Forum" on the 4th lasted 90 minutes. In the afternoon, the focus turned to Russia.
According to Bloomberg News on the 5th, G7 is considering a proposal made by the United States to counter China's "economic coercion".
Some officials said that a document had been distributed before the G7 foreign ministers' meeting in London.
Another diplomat said that the United States hopes to establish a consultation mechanism that includes the G7 and other stakeholders to ensure a coordinated response to China's actions and improve the resilience of G7 members.
According to informed sources, the agenda also includes the establishment of a "Friends of Hong Kong" organization to share relevant information and concerns.
In fact, before the formal meeting began, "China" became an inevitable topic.
Blincoln arrived in London on the 3rd, and started bilateral talks with British Foreign Minister Raab.
Raab said bluntly that the meeting was to meet the challenges of China and Russia, but the door to improving relations with China was "open," and said that active cooperation with China is very important.
Brinken expressed his "full agreement" and said that "our purpose is not to try to contain or suppress China."
But he also said that the West will defend the "rules-based international order" and avoid "damage by any country, including China."
On the same day, Brinken held separate talks with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea, and emphasized the need to "strengthen cooperation" in dealing with issues related to China.
"Economic interests are everywhere, but when dealing with China, more attention must be paid to human rights and freedom." According to reports, German Foreign Minister Maas also actively raised the topic of China at the meeting and called for the joint development of a human rights-focused China strategy.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressed "serious concern" about China's actions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and the so-called human rights situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
"G7 foreign ministers met in London, and China was placed at the top of the agenda." Hong Kong's "South China Morning Post" commented.
The article said that the new crown epidemic and its geopolitical impact mean that compared with the G7 meeting in 2019, the incident took place in a different world, and China's role in this world is a key concern.
According to previous media reports, British Foreign Minister Raab said that in the joint statement compiled on the 5th, China and Russia will be taken into consideration, showing the determination of the G7 to protect an "open society, human rights, and democracy."
US State Department officials stated that the joint statement will specify the reasons for supporting Taiwan’s international participation.
However, the joint statement had not been published as of the deadline for this paper.
Brinken calls the US-China-Africa "Cold War" relationship
While in London, US Secretary of State Blincoln accepted an interview with the British "Financial Times" on the 4th to discuss China issues in detail.
He stated that he is unwilling to label most relationships, including the US-China relationship, because the situation is complicated.
He believes that the United States and China have obvious common interests in many fields, and confrontation, competition and cooperation coexist. He hopes that the two sides will reduce misunderstandings through dialogue.
In addition, Brinken said that the United States has been acting in compliance with the One China policy, the "Taiwan Relations Act," the three joint communiqués, and the "six guarantees" for many years. He also said that the United States must ensure that Taiwan has "self-defense capabilities."
In an interview, when asked what the United States has learned from the Anchorage US-China talks, Brinken said that the two sides had a direct dialogue, which included confrontation, competition, and cooperation. These characteristics are also characteristics of the relationship between the two countries.
He said that the current relationship between the United States and China is not a "cold war" relationship, but the coexistence of competition and cooperation.
Brinken also mentioned that "not trying to contain or suppress China, but to maintain a rule-based international order..."
"Blinken's words are good to listen to, and cannot be overestimated. He said that he does not seek to contain China. This is not new. It is not the first time that he has said this. Biden has also expressed similar expressions." Fudan University Center for American Studies Director Xinqiang told a reporter from the Global Times that this shows that the United States is very clear in its heart. First, it cannot contain China, especially the Soviet Union. Second, the United States is not what it used to be. Can't pull allies to besiege China.
An article published on the Hong Kong 01 website stated that the United States is easing on the surface, and its containment of China is still there.
Judging from the details of the speeches of British and American officials, it is only the superficial tone that is light, but in fact it is difficult to conceal the fundamental logic of the two countries' centering on the West.
The most prominent of these is Blincol’s emphasis on “rules-based order”, and it does not represent any international consensus. The subtext behind it is likely to mean “the United States can lead and become the world-centered order”.
"America, please tell the truth. The G7 meeting is to curb the rise of China." "Russia Today" (RT) was titled on the 4th. Brinken talked about the "rules-based international order" that Beijing should abide by, but the rules The application is unequal.
For example, wars of aggression are illegal, but this has not stopped the United States from inciting more conflicts than any other country.
Agence France-Presse stated that most countries in the G7 have common concerns on China, but some countries have different approaches.
Japan has historically strained relations with China, but it has not joined the sanctions imposed by Western countries because it fears intensifying relations with its huge neighbors and trading partners.
Italy has always been regarded as one of the most friendly countries in the West to China. In 2019, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of the “Belt and Road”, but in March this year, due to the “Xinjiang issue”, Italy and the European Union summoned the Chinese ambassador.
Japan’s "Asahi Shimbun" analyzed that the core of the US government’s competition policy lies in close cooperation with allies and friendly countries with the same values. However, in the United States’ view, the “temperature difference” between countries’ policies towards China is still very large.
If only the toughest America "runs", it will give people the impression of being isolated.
German media: G7 seems to be a "relic" of the past
According to a report by the Russian Satellite News Agency on the 5th, an official of the US State Department said when introducing the G7 meeting, "We started at 8:45 and spent an hour and a half discussing the China issue, and then each 30 minutes to discuss Myanmar, Libya and Libya. The Syrian issue. It took 1 hour and 30 minutes to discuss the Russian issue, including Ukraine and Belarus, and 30 minutes to discuss the Afghanistan issue."
The New York Times stated that although the economic and public tasks of recovering from the epidemic are still the most important, a key issue when Brinken meets with foreign ministers of other G7 countries is "defense democratic values and open society."
It can be said that this is mainly aimed at China, and of course there is also Russia.
"The larger background of this meeting is China and the authoritarian challenge that China has brought to the democratic world," said Ash Jain, a researcher at the American Atlantic Council. "G7 was renamed as a group of like-minded democracies, rather than'high Industrialized countries’ groups. They are changing their priorities."
Lu Xiang, a researcher at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told a reporter from the Global Times that the goal of the United States in trying to forge an alliance against China has not changed, not only in the G7, but also in other stages.
Nowadays, international public opinion, especially in Europe, has repeatedly voiced that if the United States regards the containment of China as the goal of the alliance, this alliance cannot be sustained.
This is also one of the reasons why Blincoln recently stated that the United States is not trying to contain China.
But obviously, the goal of the United States to form an alliance against China has not changed. However, he has a little idea about how much the alliance can contribute to the United States.
According to the Russian "Kommersant", the G7 meeting is the most ideological since the end of the Cold War. It conceals the epidemic, economic recovery, security and development issues that exist in the West.
The German "Business Daily" stated that the G7 seems to be a "relic" of the past. For a long time, the center of economic and political power has shifted to Asia. This time it is more like a meeting for the West to "return to power."
Regarding the repeated mention of "democracy" and "common values" by senior US and European officials, the British "Guardian" unceremoniously took out a poll on the 5th: According to the Danish non-profit organization "Democratic Alliance Foundation" in 53 countries and regions around the world In the latest survey conducted, 44% of the respondents were worried that the United States threatened their own democracy, far surpassing China and Russia. Since last year, the world's perception of US influence as a threat to democracy has risen sharply.
"This shows that neither the United States nor the G7 can easily put on the cloak of a democratic defender."
[Global Times Special Correspondent in the UK, Germany, Japan, Ji Shuangcheng Aoki, Guo Weimin, Global Times reporter Tan Furong, Ren Zhong, and Liu Yupeng]