June 14, 2021

G7 Summit

Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations staked their claim Sunday to leading the world out of the coronavirus pandemic and crisis, pledging more than 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses to poorer nations, vowing to help developing countries grow while fighting climate change and backing a minimum tax on multinational firms.” AP News

Read the full communique here. White House

Here’s our most recent coverage of the G7. The Flip Side

Many on both sides stress the limits of multilateralism:

“For all of Biden's attempts to put forward a show of comity, there were limits on what the leaders could agree to in the end. One of Biden's major proposals to the group -- a global infrastructure program meant to compete with China's Belt and Road initiative -- was included in the summit's final statement. But it didn't include any specific commitments from countries on how much they're willing to contribute…

“And though language on China went further in calling out Beijing's human rights and economic abuses than previous G7 statements, earlier drafts of the communiqué were sharper. Behind the scenes, European leaders appeared resistant to go as far as Biden wanted in holding China to account… Biden has framed his entire trip around the notion of defending democracy in a battle against authoritarianism. But some in Europe find the democracy versus autocracy formulation overly reductive, allowing little room for the reality that many countries will end up relying on China or Russia in some form or another.”
Kevin Liptak, CNN

“Mr. Biden often criticized Donald Trump’s China policy for not involving allies, and he had a point. China practices divide-and-conquer politics internationally, and Chinese mercantilism is best resisted by an alliance of democracies that can show Beijing it can’t play one off against another…

“But the weakness of ‘multilateralism’ is that it requires unity of purpose that can be defeated by the lowest-common-denominator participant. European leaders are reluctant to put their exports to China at risk with too forceful a stance. That’s why they’ve merely mumbled criticism of China’s decision to strangle the autonomy that Beijing promised Hong Kong in its treaty with Britain…

“On Covid-19’s origin, meanwhile, the G-7 is already demonstrating the weakness of multilateralism backed only by gauzy, hopeful rhetoric. ‘We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China,’ says Sunday’s communique. Is that it? The world’s leaders want the same WHO that failed in its first Covid-19 origin study to do another one—this time with . . . feeling?”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

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