View from China: The G7 has become a declining political club

12:30 22.04.2024 •

Western G-7 leaders: are they the Masters of the World?

From April 17 to 19, the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Capri, Italy. The foreign ministers of the seven countries focused on international hot issues, including the Ukraine crisis, the situation in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific issues, and cooperation with Africa. They also discussed food security, energy security, and solutions to global challenges such as climate change, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

Judging from the continuous development of the G7 mechanism in recent years, the overall strength of the bloc has shown a downward trend. The bloc seems to have lost its original intention of promoting global governance and instead has become an organization led by the United States that creates camp confrontation and political divisions and aggravates global instability, notes Dong Yifan, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN (China Global Television Network), a research fellow with the Institute of European Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

In the early days after the establishment of the G7, due to the advantages of developed countries in global politics and world economies, as well as their absolute say in international institutions such as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, this forum had become the most powerful rich-nation club in global governance.

However, in recent decades, the relative "rising in the east and falling in the West" of global economic strength and calls for fairness and democratization of global governance have called into question the legitimacy and rationality of the G7 representing global governance.

In the 1970s, the G7's economic aggregate accounted for more than 60 percent of the world's total, but it dropped to only 26.4 percent in 2023. Meanwhile, the economic aggregate of emerging economies jumped to 50.1 percent last year, with their demand for rights in the global governance system growing gradually.

The G7, which represents the interests of developed countries, can no longer be used as a single voice to determine the direction of the world economy. At the same time, this mechanism has deviated from its original intention of focusing on economic policy coordination, and has been included in more and more political and security issues by some countries, which have intensified doubts about it from countries around the world, including the Global South.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the focus of global economic governance is shifting to more inclusive, representative and democratic governance mechanisms such as the G20, BRICS, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

In recent years, as the United States has carried out strategic competition and containment against China in an all-alliance manner, the G7 has increasingly become a tool for the United States to win over allies and contain competitors.

The G7 itself is aware of the decline of the Western camp's international influence. On the one hand, it continues to emphasize Western democratic values and the Western-led "rules-based international order" and attempts to discredit the systems and paths of other countries.

To enhance its own legitimacy, on the other hand, it has strengthened its wooing and connections with the Global South, trying to promote more developing countries to strengthen cooperation with the West in terms of resources, energy, supply chains, etc., and join the West in fighting against China and Russia's political camp.

However, the Global South is now increasingly paying attention to strategic awakening and independence. They are increasingly dissatisfied with Western countries' inaction in international public benefits and their rejection of a more fair and reasonable international order. They are also paying more attention to BRICS and other projects. Therefore, the G7's path of confrontation will only be recognized within the West, and their influence at the global level will be more questioned.


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