Speaking after the meeting, held at Carbis Bay on England’s Cornish coast, Biden praised the summit communiqué for its references to China, stating he was “satisfied” with its contents and that there was “plenty of action” on measures to counter Beijing. Recommended The US president noted that the last time the G7 convened there had been no reference to China. “The G7 explicitly agreed to call out human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong,” he said, adding there was also a strategy to pressure China on its use of forced labour.
French president Emmanuel Macron said the G7 was “not hostile to China”, while a British official said: “The point of the summit is to show what we are about, not who we are against.” Several leaders including Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, said the west had to work with China in key areas, particularly climate change.
German chancellor Angela Merkel backed the creation of a task force to explore ways for G7 governments to work with the private sector on infrastructure projects in the developing world. European leaders at the summit, a gathering of the world’s largest advanced economies, were more cautious about antagonising Beijing. UK prime minister Boris Johnson, the summit host, declined to mention China specifically by name at his closing press conference.
“China has this Belt and Road Initiative, and we think that there is a much more equitable way to provide for the needs of developing countries around the world,” he said. The new fund would “represent values that our democracies represent, and not autocratic lack-of-values”. Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden with Queen Elizabeth II listening to the national anthems at Windsor Castle © AP Biden said a committee would craft the plan, with a focus on climate change, health, digital technology and gender equity, to challenge the billions of dollars spent by China on infrastructure in poorer countries.
On the final day of the three-day gathering, the G7 leaders launched a new initiative called the “Build Back Better for the World”, or B3W, but failed to agree on the details of how it should be funded or what it would entail. “We’re in a contest, not with China per se, but with autocrats and autocratic governments around the world as to whether democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century,” Biden said.
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