tirsdag 15. juni 2021

The West is uniting to confront China. How worried should Beijing be?

United States President Joe Biden's plan to unite Washington's closest allies and take on China just scored a big political win. But it's going to take a lot more than words to curb the advance of the world's second largest economy. 

The US joined the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Canada this weekend to deliver the Group of Seven's strongest condemnation of China in recent decades. The G7 confronted China on just about every sore spot, from allegations of human rights abuses and forced labor in Xinjiang to ongoing political disputes over Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea. The world's wealthiest democracies also pushed for a renewed independent investigation into the origins of Covid-19, and promoted a green alternative to China's Belt and Road, Chinese President Xi Jinping's expansive plan to boost its trading influence.

The rhetoric, at least, is a step forward for a US president who has been trying to bring his diplomatic partners together to counter what Washington sees as its biggest threat to trade, tech and other issues of strategic importance. Former US President Donald Trump talked tough on China and slapped the country and its prized companies with sanctions. But Trump never really presented a united front with US allies, often burning bridges rather than building them.