Opinion | G7- A display of hypocrisy, vanity and elitism
By Tom Fowdy
For me personally, the G7 summit is up amongst the most insufferable political events of the year. That's because it is an exclusive club borne out of the United States, motivated by ideology, hegemony and thus, elitism, which it then uses to try and force its agenda on the rest of the world. Although it was originally conceived of the "world's seven largest economies" that is no longer a reality in practice, and it has thus become an "old guard" for how they believe the world ought to be. In the process, the US is attempting to tailor it into a distinctive "Anti-China" grouping.
In its vanity summit yesterday, the group subsequently adopted the term "derisking" in application to China, claiming that while they did not want to "decouple" or "inhibit" China's development, they nonetheless do not wise to allow China to have any geopolitical leverage or ability to "set the rules", which of course they decide for themselves, and subsequently don't follow either. On such a premise, they hypocritically denounced China's so-called "economic coercion" which is a Washington D.C buzzword used exclusively to Beijing's ability to apply economic punishment to countries in the name of its national interests, with of course only G7 nations "being allowed to do that" and getting instead to call it "sanctions".
Actions thus speak louder than words, and despite the language being in such "compromise" terms, which avoided being overtly confrontational, the reality is that G7 are collectively denying China the right to be an influential power on the global stage and in effect, to be a "ruler taker" as opposed to a "rule maker". There is no connotation that China can be an "equal" partner. That is, as it has always been, that Beijing may only exist under the terms and conditions set for it by the west, and not for that matter, defining or advocating its national interests on its own terms. When this is considered, what other policy options is the group effectively advocating, other than for the explicit containment of the rise of China?
One noticeable hallmark of the summit is that G7 attempting to morph itself into a "wider coalition" to steer the global agenda, of which China is locked out of. The wider G20, once a hallmark of globalisation amidst the global financial crisis, is now treat with contempt by the west as it means compromising with "unfavourable" countries, including China and Russia, leading them to paralyze it as a functional body. In doing so, the G7 now "cherrypicks" countries it wants to try and woo, inviting them to the summit but of course, not allowing them to set the agenda. In doing so, Japan, who was the host, invited India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea and Brazil, amongst others, as part of Kishida's bid to "woo the global south".
Of course, it would be disastrous for the Global South to buy into the G7's agenda, because for them it means perpetual subservience to the agenda of the west of which leverages the right to economic development and prosperity upon the geopolitical terms and conditions they set for them, which in practical reality condemns them to perpetual poverty. Part of this theme at the meeting likewise involved proposing alternatives for the belt and road initiative (yet again), speaking of which, it might be reminded that in 2021 the summit focused on a mega project to rival the BRI titled: "Build Back Better". Two years later, not only did nothing come of such, but it was never even as much heard of again.
This leads to the next point, that the G7 Summit is ultimately "all talk". It is a forum for vanity, a forum for posturing and a false calibration of unity, which is now attempting to rebrand itself as a configured unit and formalised multilateral organisation. It isn't, and its proposals to counter China by doing "X, Y, Z" usually with developing countries, almost always comes to nothing, and that's because G7 is currently premised on a denial of "how the world actually is" as opposed to "how they would like it to be." That is, the fundamental denial of China's rise in economic power and the belief they can still dictate the "rules" to a country as large and influential as Beijing, i.e such as the "economic coercion" nonsense.
But of course, this flutters in the reality that G7's share of the global GDP is falling, whereas that of China and other developing nations, is rising. The group is thus a projection of western idealism. Its relevance is declining, and perhaps in realising that, they are so eager to hold onto the position of privilege and power they once had. But there's no turning back the clock. When China's economy ultimately overtakes the United States, and when it breaks past the technological embargo they are attempting to impose on it, all of this is bound to look very silly, if not in vain.
The author is a well-seasoned writer and analyst with a large portfolio related to China topics, especially in the field of politics, international relations and more. He graduated with an Msc. in Chinese Studies from Oxford University in 2018.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
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