China cautions G7: ‘Small groups’ don’t rule the world.

China on Sunday pointedly cautioned Group of Seven leaders that the days when “small” groups of countries decided the fate of the world was long gone, hitting back at the world’s richest democracies which have sought a unified position over Beijing.

“The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone,” a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in London said. “We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries.”

The re-emergence of China as a leading global power is considered to be one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War.

The G7, whose leaders are meeting in Cornwall in England, has been searching for a coherent response to the growing assertiveness of Chinese president Xi Jinping after China’s spectacular economic and military rise over the past 40 years.

Leaders of the group – from the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan – want to use their gathering in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay to show the world that the richest democracies can offer an alternative to China’s growing clout.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau led a Group of Seven discussion of China on Saturday and called on leaders to come up with a unified approach to the challenges posed by the People’s Republic, a source said.

The G7 are planning to offer developing nations an infrastructure scheme that could rival Mr Xi’s Belt and Road initiative, launched in 2013 by Mr Xi involving development, port, road, rail and digital schemes from Asia through Africa to Europe. More than 100 countries have signed up to schemes with China.

The G7 scheme would cover human rights, supply chains, support for Taiwan and demands to reveal more about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Competition

Some G7 leaders, however, including Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, have urged US president Joe Biden not to push competition with China to the extent that it prevents co-operation on other vital issues such as the climate crisis.

The European Union is also pressing the US to back a legally binding code of conduct for the South China Sea that Beijing has been negotiating with regional powers.

Germany, often cautious about confronting China, has been reluctant to specify the monetary value of any infrastructure fund, and France has emphasised a reallocation of rich countries’ special drawing rights, foreign exchange reserve assets maintained by the International Monetary Fund, towards poorest countries as a means of easing liquidity.

US officials said Mr Biden was pushing the other G7 leaders for “concrete action on forced labour” in China and to include criticism of Beijing in their final communique. Japan also said it was backing a mention of Taiwan in the final statement.

Beijing has repeatedly hit back against what it perceives as attempts by Western powers to contain China, and says many major powers are still gripped by an outdated imperial mindset after years of humiliating China. – Reuters, Guardian

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Hong Kong court set to sentence man under national security law.

Hong Kong court set to sentence man under national security law.

A Hong Kong court is getting ready to hand down a sentence for the first person tried under the city's controversial national security law. Ramy Inocencio joined "CBSN AM" to talk about the case. CBSN is CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news servi...

COVID misinformation runs rampant on social media despite bans and government pressure.

COVID misinformation runs rampant on social media despite bans and government pressure.

A new report claims almost four-fifths of COVID misinformation on Facebook is spread by just 12 accounts, and a group of protesters laid body bags in front of the entrance of the company's Washington, D.C. offices Wednesday and held signs that sai...

Watch Live: Biden to announce new vaccine rules for federal workers.

Watch Live: Biden to announce new vaccine rules for federal workers.

Set a reminder to watch President Biden’s remarks on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET where he’s expected to announce all federal workers and contractors will be required to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular COVID testing. The announcement comes...

Should the government decide if children have to wear masks?.

Should the government decide if children have to wear masks?.

Justin Davis, who serves on the Board of Education for Gaston County Schools in North Carolina, and Brien Gregan, who has two children in King George County Public Schools in Virginia, weigh in on the CDC suggesting universal masking in schools. S...

Turkey wildfires kill several as blaze rages across southern resort towns.

Turkey wildfires kill several as blaze rages across southern resort towns.

At least three people were found dead in a forest fire in southern Turkey as authorities battled multiple blazes along its coasts for a second day amid suspicions of arson. Footage filmed by local TV channel Kanal V, showed distressed residents si...

Live: House Freedom Caucus speaks to press

Live: House Freedom Caucus speaks to press

House Freedom Caucus holds press conference on the expulsion of members from the House Republican Conference. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompass...