US President Joe Biden called on European countries and Japan to counter China’s growing influence on the economy and security, offering to issue hundreds of billions of dollars to developing countries so that they do not have to wait for new roads, railways, ports and communications networks from Beijing, writes The New York Times.
For the first time, the leaders of the G7 countries discussed organizing a direct alternative to China’s Belt and Road, Xi Jinping’s pressure on foreign loans and investments, which has now spread to Africa, Latin America and Europe. But there is a lot of disagreement between the United States and its allies over how to respond to China’s growing power.
“Biden has made challenging a growing China and a destructive Russia a central element of foreign policy aimed at building democracies around the world as a bulwark against the spread of authoritarianism. Beijing, in turn, pointed to weak US decisions during the pandemic and controversial US policies – especially regarding the January 6 riots in the Capitol – as signs that democracy is collapsing, ”the newspaper writes.
At the G7 summit on Saturday, June 12, discussions on how to counter this reflected the Western powers’ debate over whether China should be viewed as a partner, competitor, adversary, or a direct security threat.
Among the West’s criticisms of the Belt and Road is the position of the countries that signed the agreement. They become dependent on China, giving Beijing too much leverage. G7 leaders largely agree that the PRC is using its investment strategy to both strengthen its state-owned enterprises and establish a network of commercial ports and, through Huawei, communications systems over which it will exercise significant control. But officials who spoke at the meeting said Germany, Italy and the European Union are concerned that they are risking their huge trade and investment deals with Beijing. They are no less worried about the fact that relations with the PRC are acquiring the shades of a new Cold War.
Earlier, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova was surprised by the statement of the G7 countries in their interest in “stable and predictable” relations with Russia. According to Zakharova, this appeal was addressed not only to the Russian side.