The Group of Seven scolded both China and Russia on Wednesday, casting the Kremlin as malicious and Beijing as a bully, but beyond words there were few concrete steps aside from expressing support for Taiwan and Ukraine.
Founded in 1975 as a forum for the West’s richest nations to discuss crises such as the OPEC oil embargo, the G7 this week addressed what it perceives as the biggest current threats: China, Russia and the coronavirus pandemic.
G7 foreign ministers, in a 12,400-word communique, said Russia was trying to undermine democracies and threatening Ukraine while China was guilty of human rights abuses and of using its economic clout to bully others.
There was, however, little concrete action mentioned in the communique that would unduly worry either Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The G7 said it would bolster collective efforts to stop China’s “coercive economic policies” and to counter Russian disinformation – part of a move to present the West as a much broader alliance than just the core G7 countries.
“I think (China is) more likely to need to, rather than react in anger, it is more likely going to need to take a look in the mirror and understand that it needs to take into account this growing body of opinion, that thinks these basic international rules have got to be adhered to,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.