Xinhua in the headlines: divided G7 concludes summit with “unforgivable moral failure” – Xinhua English.news.cn
– The Group of Seven (G7) concluded its first in-person summit in nearly two years on Sunday against a backdrop of protesters taking to the streets and beaches and accusing the world’s richest countries of making “empty promises” .
– In a joint statement released after the summit, G7 leaders belatedly pledged to deliver 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine to less developed countries over the next year.
– Unsurprisingly, on China, the joint G7 communiqué did not fail to mention issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the East and South China Seas, in the name of “respect for the international system founded on rules and international law, “despite committing to cooperate with China to address” shared global challenges “such as climate change and biodiversity loss.
– Despite a seemingly unified image and claims that ‘America is back’, issues such as the defense budget of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the Airbus-Boeing dispute and, more recently, Northern Ireland in the context of Brexit, have threatened to split Western allies.
FALMOUTH, Britain, June 13 (Xinhua) – The Group of Seven (G7) concluded its first in-person summit in nearly two years on Sunday against a backdrop of protesters taking to the streets and beaches and accusing the countries of the richest people in the world to make “empty promises”.
Critics said the three-day rally, held in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay in southwest Britain, was a “historic missed opportunity” as it only raised more more questions than answers to some of the world’s most difficult problems.
With varying agendas and interests, the sense of oneness the wealthy club tries to promote remains elusive.
HISTORICAL MISSED OPPORTUNITY
In a joint statement released after the summit, G7 leaders belatedly pledged to deliver 1 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine to less developed countries over the next year.
While the move is seen as a step in the right direction, activists and critics alike believe it lacks ambition and is far too slow as it has not been enough to meet the needs of these countries.
(Left to right, front) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, (left to right, back) President of the European Council Charles Michel, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stand for a photo in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain June 11, 2021 (Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street / Handout via Xinhua)
“We need more than that,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres of the G7 plan. “We need a global immunization plan. We need to act with logic, with a sense of urgency and with the priorities of a war economy, and we are still a long way from achieving that.”
The World Health Organization estimates that at least 11 billion doses are needed to have a chance of beating COVID-19. Countries like Britain, Canada and the United States have ordered enough doses of the vaccine to immunize their entire population multiple times.
Commenting on the lack of vaccines, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the summit “would be a missed opportunity” and “an unforgivable moral failure” when the world’s richest countries failed to develop a comprehensive immunization plan . by the middle of next year.
Leaders also agreed to take action to accelerate economic recovery from the pandemic by investing in infrastructure and spur innovation, and to ensure future prosperity by championing freer and fairer trade.
On climate change, G7 leaders agreed to take tough measures on coal-fired power plants and reaffirmed to raise US $ 100 billion a year to help least developed countries reduce their emissions.
The plan, with an apparent lack of binding agreements and timetables, has drawn strong criticism.
According to Teresa Anderson of Action Aid, an international charity, the G7 commitments have failed to respond to the urgency and scale of the crisis.
“Rich countries have so far failed to deliver on climate finance pledges. Most of what has been provided so far has been in the form of loans, which push vulnerable countries further into debt. and poverty, ”she said.
Kirsty McNeill of Crack the Crises, a coalition of charities and NGOs, called the G7 summit a “historic missed opportunity” on COVID-19 and climate change.
The leaders arrived “with good intentions but without their check books,” she noted.
ON BEHALF OF THE “RULES-BASED SYSTEM”
Unsurprisingly, on China, the joint G7 communiqué did not fail to mention issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the East and South China Seas, in the name of “respect for the international system based on rules and international law, ”despite the commitment to cooperate with China to address“ shared global challenges ”such as climate change and biodiversity loss.
In an earlier statement, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Britain said: “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are over. There is only one system and only one order in the world, which is the international order. system with the United Nations at the heart and the international order based on international law, not the so-called system and order advocated by a handful of countries.
“There is only one type of multilateralism, that is, true multilateralism based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and characterized by equal treatment, cooperation and mutual benefits, not pseudo-multilateralism serving the interests of a small clique or political bloc, ”the spokesperson added.
During the summit, G7 leaders also adopted the U.S.-backed Build Back Better World (B3W) plan to help low- and middle-income countries build better infrastructure, which is seen by many as a attempt to compete with the belt proposed by China. and Road Initiative.
In a previous report, the London-based Financial Times (FT) said that on his first overseas visit, US President Joe Biden might try to “persuade a wary Europe to work more closely with Washington on the issue. China ”, among its priorities.
Police officers patrol the G7 media center in Falmouth, Cornwall, Britain on June 11, 2021 (Xinhua / Han Yan)
Martin Jacques, senior researcher at the University of Cambridge, said it was no surprise that the “sharply diminished” G7 took a very negative view of China, “because it is only defensive and it is in a way under siege “.
The G7 would be making a “mistake” if it sought to exclude or contain China in the face of global challenges, he told Xinhua. “I think it is a mistake for the G7 to do what they have done. They should look for ways to develop cooperation with China, without thinking of containing or pushing back China.”
Despite a seemingly unified image and claims that “America is back”, issues such as the defense budget of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the Airbus-Boeing dispute and, more recently, Northern Ireland in the context of Brexit, have threatened to divide the West. allies.
In particular, doubts remain among Europeans as to the sincerity of the United States’ cooperation with Europe on international issues after four tumultuous years under the administration of Donald Trump.
“Beneath the probable declarations of unity, Biden will face an embarrassing reality… She (Europe) has different economic and strategic priorities than the United States and there is a constant risk that these divisions will come to light. “said the FT. reported.
Some EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are suspicious of Cold War-style rhetoric aimed at China and some do not like the term “adversary”, which is often used by Washington to refer to Beijing, according to the Minister. FT.
“I think there is a certain weariness (in Europe) after four years of Trump and four years of hindsight against the Transatlantic Alliance, NATO and so on,” said Rajneesh Narula, international relations expert at the University of Reading. Xinhua.
The British expert believes that Biden, who has not canceled everything Trump has done, still advocates “America First”, without saying it out loud.
“Biden has not shown an intention to reverse everything Trump has done. He understands that there are enough voting people in America who care about the ‘America First’ agenda. So he says America first but without using those words, ”Narula said. .
A police boat patrols Falmouth, Cornwall, Britain on June 11, 2021 (Xinhua / Han Yan)
Julian Mueller-Kaler, researcher at the Berlin think tank German Council on Foreign Relations, also agreed that Europe would be “very careful” when dealing with transatlantic relations.
“Many Europeans will be very cautious about this renewal of transatlantic relations”, he declared.
“So I think it will be a challenge for Biden and European leaders to come up with concrete policy proposals instead of just good and empty words,” he added. (Video reporter: Liang Xizhi; Video editor: Zhou Sa’ang)■