June 18, 2021

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China may not be a member of the G7, but it dominates the agenda


China may not be part of the Group of Seven, the informal club made up of the world’s largest and wealthiest democracies, but its presence will likely be significant at the group’s first face-to-face summit in nearly two years. .

Reporting on his trip last week, Biden wrote in the Washington Post that “the United States must rule the world from a position of strength”, including to deal with “the nefarious activities of the Chinese and Russian governments”.

In some areas there are signs that such a united front is already forming.

In a joint statement Thursday, Biden and his British counterpart Boris Johnson pledged to support a further investigation into the origins of Covid-19, including in China.

US President Joe Biden met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.
Support from the UK and perhaps other G7 members will add weight to Biden’s push for a reexamination of the origins of the virus, including a new examination of the laboratory leak theory. Beijing blasted on Biden’s appeal last month, accusing Washington of “political manipulation to blame it.”
The top is also would have waited to see the launch of a green alternative initially pushed by Biden to compete with the Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative, with the aim of supporting sustainable development in developing countries.
Several invited countries have also been invited to join the summit, including Australia, which will use the opportunity to seek support in its growing trade disputes with China. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday called that the G7 countries approve the reform of the World Trade Organization to fight against the increasing use of “economic coercion”.
The emerging alliance is likely to upset Beijing further. Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry knock on Biden’s plan to rally allies to China, accusing him of “stoking the confrontation.”

“Coming together, pursuing bloc politics and forming small cliques are unpopular and doomed to failure. We hope that the countries concerned will reject ideological prejudices and view China from an objective and rational angle,” the spokesperson said. speech of the ministry Wang Wenbin during a press briefing.

But at the same time, China is also increasingly convinced that the G7 is a holdover from the past, and that its influence – as well as that of its participating countries – is waning. This view, which has been vehemently promoted by Chinese state media, has been reinforced by China’s apparent post-pandemic economic recovery.

The fact that this is the G7 reacting to China, rather than China reacting to the G7, is also not lost on observers in Beijing.

“The influence and power (of the G7) are no longer worth the wait. The fundamental reason is that the economic and political center of gravity of the world has shifted to the east,” said one editorial published Thursday in the state newspaper Global Times, claiming that China is now setting the global agenda.

And while the G7 countries may move towards something close to a united front in some areas, it remains to be seen whether countries will be willing to risk damaging bilateral relations with Beijing.

Chinese observers cited by the Global Times seem confident that the “fundamental differences” of the G7 countries on how to deal with China “will prevent them from taking substantial action.”

Indeed, as the world begins to recover from the pandemic, many Western countries remain more dependent than ever on the Chinese market and investment.

Beijing, on the other hand, does not hesitate to take advantage of this dependence. The day before the G7 summit kicked off, China passed a law to counter foreign sanctions, a symbolic gesture towards Western countries as their countermeasures – whether on the issues of Hong Kong, Xinjiang, trade or technology – will face severe retaliation. .

Photo of the day

“Eat the sun”: A partial solar eclipse is observed Thursday over Mount Miaofeng in Beijing. In ancient Chinese folklore, it was believed that a solar eclipse occurred when a mythical celestial dog named “celestial dog” attacked and devoured the sun.

Chinese rideshare company to go public in New York as US-China tensions simmer

Chinese carpooling giant Didi is become public in the USA.

The company – which offers rideshare, taxi and rideshare services in China, and which also offers services in Brazil, Mexico and elsewhere – said in public documents on Thursday that it intends to register on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq. The file did not reveal how much the company plans to raise on the IPO.

While Didi claims to operate in 15 countries, more than 93% of its sales come from China. It has been for years a dominant ridesharing service in the country, with some 377 million annual active users in China and 13 million active drivers.

Didi’s listing in the United States is notable amid continuing tensions between the United States and China. Many large Chinese tech companies are trading in New York, including Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo, but the environment has become much more volatile. Over the past two years, a flurry of Chinese companies trading on Wall Street have held secondary listings in Hong Kong so they can establish stronger roots closer to home, citing worsening regulatory hurdles.

Didi acknowledged the risks in his prospectus, writing that there had been “increased tensions in international economic relations”. He mentioned the U.S.-China trade disputes, Covid-19, and Hong Kong, among others.

“Such tensions between the United States and China, and any escalation thereof, can have a negative impact on the general, economic, political and social conditions in China and, in turn, have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. , “said the company.

– By Jill Disis and Pamela Boykoff

Around asia

  • Myanmar’s fallen civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was accused of corruption by the country’s military junta, adding to a string of lawsuits against the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
  • At least nine people were killed in the demolition of a five-story building collapsed on a bus in South Korea on Wednesday.
  • An Afghan affiliate of ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack on an international demining charity, the Halo Trust, which left 10 dead and 16 injured in Afghanistan on Tuesday.
  • Drug cartels in Asia adapted quickly pandemic in 2020, flooding markets with synthetic narcotics worth tens of billions of dollars even as the global economy came to a halt, according to a new United Nations report.

Uyghurs live in ‘dystopian hellish landscape’, new Amnesty report says

Human rights group Amnesty International has gathered what it says is new evidence of the widespread internment and torture of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region in China, in one of the most detailed reports ever compiled on alleged human rights violations committed by Beijing.

Based on interviews with more than 50 people held in internment camps across the region, the 160-page report claims that there is a “factual basis” for concluding that the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity.

Amnesty researchers accuse the Chinese government of imprisoning its citizens in violation of international law, as well as of torturing and persecuting the predominantly Muslim Uyghur people in the region.

The testimonies of former detainees included in the report point to severe beatings and punishments for perceived minor offenses.

“Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellish landscape on a staggering scale in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said in a statement after the report was released.

Callamard said Beijing’s alleged actions in Xinjiang should “shock the conscience of mankind.”

Notably, however, Amnesty has not called Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang “genocide” – distinguishing the organization from many Western governments, including the United States.

Beijing has repeatedly denied accusations of crimes against humanity, saying its camps are “vocational training centers” designed to fight poverty and Islamic extremism in Xinjiang.

But in their report, Amnesty researchers say the Chinese government’s real goal in Xinjiang is to erase the cultural and religious identity of minority groups in the region, and instead “to forcibly instill a Chinese nation. secular and homogeneous and the ideals of the Communist Party ”.

“Not a single person (in my village) can pray anymore. It is because the government is against religion. They are against Muslims, ”a former detainee told Amnesty for its report.

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