Did G7 become a showcase for Western hubris?

| 作者: Sun Wenzhu | 时间: 2023-04-26 | 责编:
Adjust font size: + -

  From April 16 to 18, foreign ministers (FMs) of the G7 countries are meeting in Nagano, Japan, to discuss the agenda of the G7 leader summit to be held next month in Hiroshima.
  According to a draft joint statement obtained by NHK, the national TV channel of Japan, the G7 FM meeting this year is focusing on the Ukraine crisis, as well as "growing Chinese regional assertiveness."
  Apart from criticism of Russian actions in Ukraine, accusing Russia of spreading disinformation, and calling on third parties to support anti-Russia sanctions, the joint statement also includes several recurring themes from last year. Key issues mentioned in the statement are "commitment for a free and open Indo-Pacific," "concerns about the situation in the East and South China seas," and "stress for peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," as well as "opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion."
  Such contents, if finally taken in as the formal joint statement of the G7 FM meeting 2023, would doubtlessly expose that G7 are unable to assume their responsibility for addressing global challenges and promoting world economic recovery.
  On the contrary, their Cold War mentality, enhanced by their obsessiveness over the identity as advanced Western countries superior to the rest of the world, has driven them further away from the positive global leading role they desired and made them nothing but a "small clique" aloof from, and of no help for, the real needs of most countries in the world.  
  As a gesture for "Western unification," the G7 FMs meeting is once again accusing Russia, labeling it as an "aggressor" and showing its "resolve" to support Ukraine. However, such a stance only reveals that their ideological mindset creates and intensifies confrontations instead of healing divisions, endangering peace instead of restoring it.
  Six out of G7 countries are members of NATO, with Japan actively approaching NATO in recent years. It was NATO's desire to expand its sphere of influence that deteriorated the geopolitical competition in Europe, leading to the Ukraine crisis today. To omit such sophisticated background and focus one-sidedly on condemning Russia indicates G7's double standard on this issue.
  Moreover, it is difficult not to notice the hypocrisy considering the shift of strategic focus to "great power competitions" of certain related countries in recent years, and their ardent endeavors for taking an advantageous position in power struggles against Russia.
  When it comes to issues related to China, the extent to which G7's hubris has distorted their perception becomes more obvious. The G7 foreign ministers on Sunday stated that maintaining unity will be "extremely important" in addressing the "various challenges in the Indo-Pacific," as China grows "increasingly assertive" in the region. Disregarding the objective facts, they portrayed China as a disruptive force, labeling it as a "challenger of the status quo." These preposterous allegations are not only unfounded but they also amount to a smear campaign against the country, with attempts to interfere in its sovereign affairs.
  Last year, G7 repeatedly tried to "lecture" China on the Taiwan region, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as well as human rights, and maritime issues. This year, as Japan hosts the summit, it has sought to bring up the issue of "Chinese economic coercion." Additionally, Japan has attempted to include an accusation that China's "not fulfilling obligations under the Vienna Convention on consular relations." The latter allegation arises from the recent arrest of a Japanese citizen in China on suspicion of espionage.
  These lies and rumors about China appear especially ridiculous considering the long record of G7 members' coercive policies using their economic advantages to bully other countries, and can only suggest that G7 are still unwilling to respect China, as well as other quickly catching up developing countries, as equal members of the international society. Not to say to face the fact that they can no longer monopoly the rights to set "legitimate rules" and "legitimate status of the world" within their "small clique" and then force them upon others.
  By positioning themselves as a simple leverage for geopolitical competition to contain China, G7 risks marginalizing itself from cooperative efforts among emerging economies for real global governance and proves to the world that such a small club is incapable of achieving anything better than bringing more chaos and conflicts among camps.
  Moreover, as the host of G7 this year, Japan is likely to fully use this chance to show its "international leadership" by proposing the slogan of "free and open Indo-Pacific." However, such self-positioning is incoherent with its actual deeds. Japan's plan to willfully discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific can hardly be accepted as the behavior of even a responsible member of the international society, not to say a leader of it.
  Besides, Japan's reluctant attitude to set a deadline for phasing out coal power due to its continued reliance on fossil fuels, as well as its preference for hydrogen energy, has already sparked disputes among G7 countries, casting doubts on G7's willingness and ability to fulfill their obligations in dealing with global climate change and achieving green transition.
  As a group of the seven most developed countries, G7 is expected to work positively in the interest of world peace and development, to uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, and to support real multilateralism. Continuing to behave like a club of "arrogant preachers" while making no contribution to dealing with global challenges would only alienate G7 from the rest of the world and turn their voices into irrelevant noise. 
  (Sun Wenzhu, Associate Research Fellow of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at China Institute of International Studies. Source: CGTN, Apr. 17, 2023)

选择其他平台 >>