The Group of Seven western democracies aims to court new allies to counter challenges from China and Russia without holding Beijing down and while pursuing more stable ties with the Kremlin, two of its top diplomats said on Monday.
Ahead of the first in-person G7 foreign ministers meeting since 2019, U.S. President Joe Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, sought to foster a message of multilateralism after four years of Twitter-diplomacy under Donald Trump variously shocked, bewildered and alarmed many Western allies.
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 is discussing China and Russia as well as battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of climate change.
“It is not our purpose to try to contain China or to hold China down,” Blinken told reporters at a news conference alongside British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
He said the West would defend “the international rules based order” from subversive attempts by any country, including China.