How important is the G7 Summit?

The G7 countries began their summit meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, today. In addition to war and the climate, relations with China will be high on the agenda. However, commentators observe that the unity of the G7 and its standing in the world can no longer be taken for granted.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Don't get on the wrong side of Beijing

Whether Washington can get the G7 countries on its side against China is highly questionable for Corriere della Sera:

“The White House has made it clear in the past that it does not want a new cold war with China. But from the US point of view, the question of how far one can cooperate on matters of common interest also depends on the determination of the allies to stand by the US in countering Chinese aggression. .. One of the issues is 'economic coercion' (the political use of intimidation and retaliation through trade and investment) by Beijing. However, shared concern does not automatically lead to agreement on how to counter threats to economic security and global supply chains without antagonising a major trade partner such as China.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

More support for the Global South

Russia's war against Ukraine reinforces global bloc-building, Gazeta Wyborcza comments:

“Taking advantage of the war in Ukraine, Xi Jinping is accelerating the formation of an anti-Western bloc under Chinese leadership. Moscow is his partner in this project, but he is also supported by the Global South, the rest of Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the war in Ukraine has reawakened prejudices against the US and the former colonial masters. Japan wants to catch up and offer the South more medical and food aid and help with infrastructure projects. However, it will find it difficult to catch up with China, which has already been doing this for years.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Club of the self-satisfied

The seven largest industrialised countries now represent less than 30 percent of global economic output, Handelsblatt points out:

“They have long since ceased to be the undisputed global power, and they are certainly not the measure of all things. So the G7 meeting in Hiroshima seems more like an act of self-assurance for the West - in this place of all places, the symbolic location where the leading Western power, the US, committed a heinous war crime. The remaining G20 states, which are somewhat disparagingly referred to as emerging countries but which meanwhile account for half of the world's GDP, view this with scepticism - not least because the West's quest for self-assurance has always also given rise to a good dose of self-satisfaction.”

Echo (RU) /

With the red button in Peace Park

Summit participants will also visit Peace Park in Hiroshima to commemorate the victims of the 1945 bombing. Japan correspondent Vasily Golovnin sees a ludicrous aspect to this in a Telegram post republished by Echo:

“Joe Biden is accompanied by an aide carrying the leather briefcase containing the infamous 'nuclear button'. He escorts the US president everywhere he goes. ... So in Peace Park, Biden will be very much prepared for war. ... The visit to Peace Park will be unique for another reason. For in addition to Biden, the leaders of two other nuclear powers - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron - will also be present. I wonder if they too will be carrying nuclear suitcases? Or will they rely on the Americans for that?”