The annual G7 summit is traditionally more than just a working meeting. Sunday’s ending in Hiroshima was not rule-breaking, but exceptionally symbolic. Only the presence of Volodymyr Zelensky (whose participation was initially planned via video conference) gave an unexpected dimension to the meeting, which is placed under the banner of war in Ukraine and which has been martyred by a bomb in the city. A world of nuclear disaster.
Beyond the shock of the images, however, lies the weight of the words, a formula that takes on its full meaning in the light of the final magazine’s well-filled forty pages. After long strides devoted to trade, education, health, climate, the environment, the digital economy or disarmament, some of the paragraphs in Article 51 are causing a stir — and angering China. As rarely as before, it is true that it takes for its quality.
While protesting their desire to retain “Stable and constructive relationships“With Beijing, while denying that they seek to harm it or slow its growth, the seven most industrialized nations on the planet list their grievances and concerns without ignoring anything: violations of free trade rules, industrial espionage, or “economic coercion,” or from Xinjiang to Hong Kong. Human rights violations up to, or threats against Taiwan, expansion in the East and South China Seas, or threatening people living abroad, or, of course, supporting Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Coupled with the declared desire to reduce dependency, which has become critical for the Chinese economy, this revelation of clarity, albeit belated, is welcome. On condition that the weight of words is quickly followed by the power of actions. Moreover, the selfish pursuit of national interests by G7 members will not destroy the solidarity thus shown by major democracies.
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