The G7 leaders this weekend unveiled U.S.-led plans to counter China in infrastructure funding and offer an alternative its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Promising to “collectively catalyse” hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries, the G7 leaders said they would offer a “values-driven, high-standard and transparent” partnership, which is being called the “Build Back Better World” (B3W) in a nod to the Biden administration’s similarly themed campaign at home.

China slammed the G7 joint statement which criticised its recent actions in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and told the group to stop “slandering” China.

China was also on the agenda on Monday’s NATO summit, with leaders saying China “poses a constant security challenge and is working to undermine the global order”.

The focus on China comes as the Biden administration seeks to draw in a broader front of partners and allies in dealing with China, in a contrast from the Trump administration’s go-it-alone approach. Top U.S. and Chinese diplomats, meanwhile, in a phone call on Friday exchanged sharp words, clashing over human rights issues and the growing calls for a transparent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

As chair of the G7, the U.K. invited India, Australia, South Korea and South Africa to the summit as guest countries.  Addressing the First Outreach Session of the ongoing G7 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed India’s commitment to “collective” solution to global health challenges. Prime Minister Modi called for “one earth, one health” approach which aims for unity and solidarity among the states of the world to deal with the pandemic. Mr. Modi didn’t directly mention China, but referred to the special responsibility of “democratic and transparent societies to prevent future pandemics.”

In a departure from the main 25-page G7 communique, which was issued by U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan, and contained negative references to China on the issue of its aggression in the East and South China Sea, and human rights issues in Xinjiang, Ministry of External Affairs officials said Chinese aggression “was not raised” at the outreach meetings with guest countries Australia, South Korea and South Africa, and that there are “other forums” where it is being discussed.(The Hindu)


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