Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, French President Emmanuel Macron together with Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, US President Joe Biden and the President of the European Council Charles Michel pose for a group photo during an aperitif on the sidelines of the G7 summit at the Eden Project in Cornwall, Great Britain, June 11, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]
The Chinese Embassy in the UK said international decisions could no longer be dictated by a small cadre of global elites after leaders unveiled a new infrastructure plan at the G7 Group of Wealthy Nations meeting that concluded on Sunday, with which it is to compete with China’s cross-border development plan, the Belt and Road Initiative.
The embassy made its remarks on the Saturday before the conclusion of the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK, attended by leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. The infrastructure plan, called Build Back Better World or B3W, is spearheaded by US President Joe Biden, who, according to a White House statement, described the summit as an opportunity to “discuss strategic competition with China”.
“The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone,” said a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the UK. “We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are the same and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries.”
The embassy criticized the clique politics of Western countries and said that there should be “only one system and one order in the world, ie the international system with the United Nations at its center and the international order based on international law”. , not the so-called system and order advocated by a handful of countries “.
The White House said the B3W plan will “help reduce $ 40 trillion in infrastructure needs in developing countries.”
However, only a few details on the implementation of the plan and no investment figures were given.
A senior official in Biden’s government said the plan is “not just about confronting or taking over China.”
Christopher Bovis, professor of international business law at Hull University, said the B3W is a strategic tool to increase the G7’s influence on the international scene and to compete with the Belt and Road Initiative, which has been in existence since its inception in the year Has officially gained momentum in 2013 with meanwhile more than 130 countries.
“The G7 economies’ intention to offer developing countries an infrastructure plan called the B3W initiative is certainly seen as an attempt to counter China’s growing influence and success of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Bovis told China Daily.
“In addition, if implemented, the B3W is expected to act as a conveyor belt of Western values, standards and business practices, an outcome likely to be seen as a post-colonial attempt to integrate emerging economies,” Bovis said.
Bovis questioned whether the G7 was the appropriate group to lead such an initiative.
Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the UK, suggested that in an increasingly connected world with a growing list of common threats, the G7 might indeed be out of date.
“While the G7 is an important meeting, the G20 is far more important because it is more representative of the world community,” Rogers told China Daily.
Cui Chaoqun in London contributed to this story.