The just-ended Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Cornwall, the United Kingdom, released a communique which criticized China on issues concerning Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan. A day later, leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) described China as presenting “systemic challenges” in the Brussels Summit Communique.
China was targeted twice in only a couple of days by the US-led G7 and NATO. However, the tougher stance on China does not essentially attest to the strengths of the western countries, but their weaknesses indeed.
The US tried to build a united anti-China front with the western countries at the G7 Summit. The desperate wish of gathering allies seems to reveal that US self-confidence is diminishing.
And the Biden administration’s grand infrastructure plan, in a bid to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is to some extent learning from China. The US initiative’s road map, capital source, and practical outcomes it can bring remain unclear, while BRI cooperation projects have benefited many countries and their people.
Historically speaking, the G7’s economic dominance is shrinking, as they only account for 40 percent of the global GDP, a drastic fall from the 80 percent share in the 1970s. The countries are eager to prove that only their brand of democracy works and leads the world, but the fact is warning them of losing ground in today’s global landscape.
More importantly, ideological divisions do not work in such an interdependent world.
That US selling the anti-China rhetoric does not help the world get better at all. The core issues on the G7’s agenda, such as the pandemic, climate and trade, cannot be fixed without the participation of the world’s most populous nation and second-largest economy, noted Gideon Rachman, the chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, in a recent article.
The US is making the China-US conflict a “binary choice” for the rest of the world, but many countries would not want to choose between the two sides because such a decision goes against their interests. Even some of America’s allies in Europe pursue closer economic ties with China and disagree with the US’ hardline China strategy. The level which they will respond to the US’ approach varies from one country to another.
“There is no going back to the decoupled, two-bloc global order of the Cold War,” said Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, in an article on Project Syndicate.
China always hopes to work with the West and objects to the practice of clique politics. Contrary to the “with-us-or-against-us” strategy upheld by the US, China proposes to build a community with a shared future for mankind. It is committed to world peace and win-win development. China walks the talk with swift vaccine offers for countries in need.
In an era of profound changes and numerous challenges, the world needs pragmatic solutions, which China has been constantly sharing. The US should focus on constructive actions for global issues. After all, it cannot “build back better world” with a Cold War mentality.