As predicted, the meeting of the Group of Seven Western States in Cornwall (UK) focused, on a tip from the United States, on China.
The point is that the meaning of the entire current European trip of President Joe Biden to Europe is to invite the allies to the second Cold War against a strategic rival. How do the Chinese themselves react to this event?
Recall: following the Cornish meeting, the G7 signed a communiqué condemning China for its purely internal affairs – in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and also demanded to find out whether the known coronavirus had escaped from the laboratory in Wuhan. And it is absolutely natural that the official answer to all this could only be based on the formula “we condemn and reject”. But there are details.
In fact, the second cold war is primarily aimed at economically throwing China away from its current leadership positions in the world. And the lesser-known, but more important points of the Seven communiqué, as expected, reflect the American idea that China’s business receives support from the state and that this is dishonest, that is, non-market behavior.
And here it was very timely to remind the official representative of not even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the Chinese Embassy in London that, in fact, since 2018 new laws have been adopted in the country, according to which foreign business begins to work in China according to the same rules as domestic, the average tariff burden on imports went down to 7.5 percent, etc.
That is, the leaders of seven states pretend that they have not yet reached, among other things, the most important information about China’s increasingly market behavior on its own territory. And they are not ashamed of that. Before us is exactly the same case as, for example, with the situation in Hong Kong: there are facts, and there is a statement by seemingly respected and responsible people that run counter to the facts. And what kind of reaction to this absurdity (or this arrogance) do you want?
And the reaction – it can be like this: a couple of days before the meeting of the “Seven”, the Chinese parliament adopted the so-called law on responding to economic sanctions. This is a detailed and complex document, but in general it gives the country’s authorities the right (if not imposing an obligation), in response to sanctions against a particular Chinese corporation or individuals abroad, to choose the company of the offending country and subject it to retaliatory sanctions.
Well, at the same time, if possible, it is planned to compensate their victims at least part of the damage.
That is, the calculation here is made on the fact that business from the USA and other countries of the G7 will fear the second cold and will begin to influence their governments. Something similar is already happening. The result is diverging positions within the Western Union on particular attitudes towards China. Of course, Beijing is well aware of this.
And here one more plot is appropriate, also connected with the British meeting of the seven leaders. The plot with the famous fresco by Leonardo da Vinci “The Last Supper”, also known as “The Last Supper”.
To depict the meeting of the G7 in the form of a last supper was not an official, but a completely private initiative of an anonymous artist. And this cartoon on the very first day collected 700 thousand views in the Chinese Internet zone. Which, incidentally, suggests that quite a few in this very eastern country are familiar with the classics of world painting, even if only thanks to Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code”, where this particular picture appears very prominently.
The caricature of the anonymous author turned out exactly after Brown – filled with complex symbols that cannot be deciphered immediately, even if you carefully examine this thing with a high magnification. It is clear that Uncle Sam is in the center. Before him stands something like a cake, reminiscent of China in outline. But there is also a typewriter for printing money on toilet paper, and on such a figure of nine trillion can be traced – so many empty pieces of paper have already been created by the Biden administration.
In situations like the current one, there is a temptation, first of all, to see internal and not very advertised discrepancies in the enemy’s camp. And so the cartoonist depicts Uncle Sam’s allies as animals, violently expressing their emotions. From grim discontent (Germany) to outright disagreement (Italy, Beijing’s Belt and Road partner). An Indian elephant is also seen among these apostles.
It must be said here that at many meetings of the G7 countries that are not members of this association are invited for dialogue. This time there were four of them. But South Africa and South Korea did not get to the “Last Supper” to the cartoonist, but Australia, which is pulling kangaroo legs for money, is here. India is not depicted in the most tactful way – in the form of an elephant under a dropper. With a hint that the awkward policy of the authorities has led to large losses from the coronavirus.
China’s complicated relationship with India is a separate big topic. However, it is clear that the main task of the “elephant” participation in the G7 summit is the hope of receiving assistance in the fight against the virus, primarily vaccines. Maintaining the same balance between the West and the East, semi-partnership relations with each of the competing parties is a secondary task, with a dubious relevance today.
In the Indian media, you can find any opinion on this topic, including this: you need to be careful when dealing with people who divide the world into “democracy” and “autocracy”, it is better not to end up in any camp and continue to maintain neutrality. And India, we recall, is being pushed into a fight with China, including with the help of a dubious compliment about the fact that it is “the world’s largest democracy”.
In general, if a group of Western states, a member of the G7, wanted to get problems with the help of their declaration, without having any gain, then they got them.
Dmitry Kosyrev, RIA