Public interest, the nuances of China and the wrangling of Brexit filled the G7 . list

Pictures of Joe Biden and his fellow G7 leaders chatting in close quarters on the Corniche beach enjoying grilled lobsters may not have been the best advertisement for social distancing rules in times of pandemic. But cooking on the beach is designed to send another message: Under renewed American leadership, the world’s leading Western democracies are back in business.

Four years into Donald Trump’s presidency, when diplomatic shouting matches were more likely features at G7 summits than alfresco comfort food, there was a collective sigh of relief. “This is the first time in four years that they have actually met,” said a British official.

The warmth towards Biden was reflected in the intimate relationship between US President and French Emmanuel Macron, as they walked on the white sands of Carbis Bay, arms wrapped around each other. “The United States is back,” Biden said. Macron replied: “Yes, of course.”

US President Joe Biden, second from right, with French President Emmanuel Macron, second from left, arrive at the Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives for the G7 summit © Phil Noble/Pool/AP

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, beaming with the role of host after Brexit, described the three-day meeting as “historic”. After the turmoil of the Trump years, there was real agreement on global issues among the leaders of what Johnson called the 11th democracy: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and guests from Australia, South Korea and the South. Africa. Narendra Modi attended from India approx.

Apparently the sign A clear shift to social democracy Of the world’s leading capitalist economies, the G7 supported Biden’s call to “meet the moment and support the economy” with more spending; Johnson spoke of the need to fight inequality.

But while there was agreement on additional funding for vaccines for the developing world, a plan to combat future epidemics, funding for girls’ education, and agreement on the need to fund “clean and green” projects in the developing world, there were differences of opinion.

Biden said he saw the summit as the moment when the West hardened its stance on China and its development A “democratic” alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which Washington believes is spreading Beijing’s influence – including unsustainable debt and poor labor standards – around the world.

“I think you’ll see direct engagement with China,” Biden told reporters after the summit.

But while White House officials said the first session of the Group of Seven on Saturday focused on China, Britain sought to avoid framing it in those terms, saying it was about “building back better” after the pandemic.

Boris Johnson sought to use the summit as the moment Britain broke free from the contemplation of Brexit and faced the world as a major power – with only partial success © Neil Hall/Pool/EPA-EFE

Johnson refused to mention China in his closing press conference, and an EU diplomat said Johnson and Justin Trudeau of Canada and Italy’s Mario Draghi argued that the G7’s focus should be on making a positive cause for the West rather than deliberately antagonizing China.

EU countries have been keen to stress what they say is a more accurate view of it Relations with Beijing. “Our approach is that we need to cooperate with China on issues like climate change, to compete in areas like global supply chains, and to compete in China’s record in areas like human rights,” said a European diplomat.

Johnson Recent British foreign policy review مراجعة It reflects a broader European effort to ride two horses at once: it talks about seeking “deeper trade links and more Chinese investment in the UK”, while challenging China in other areas.

Biden declared his “satisfaction” with the summit statement – which officials approved at 1.30 a.m. on Sunday and mentioned China three times, including on Human rights violations in Xinjiang. But US officials insisted that the West needed to move forward in countering Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative with a package to fund global infrastructure, not just green schemes.

Even in what British officials called the “Green Belt and Road” plan, there was little new money. Downing Street said it was more about “fitting in” the promises already made by Britain and other Western countries to fund environmental projects in poor countries.

Queen Elizabeth with the leaders of the Group of Seven and the European Union. © Jack Hill / Pool / Reuters

For Johnson, who sought to use the summit as the moment when Britain broke free from five years of introspection over Brexit and confronted the world as the chief force for the meeting, the Karbis Bay summit was only a partial success.

As with other big summer national events – such as the 2012 Olympics or a royal wedding – the UK has demonstrated its mastery of television spectacle and creating ‘feel good’ events.

Against a backdrop of blue skies and white sandy beaches, leaders met Queen Elizabeth in a futuristic ecological park, while their partners and spouses were escorted to a clifftop Cornish theater. The Red Arrows of the Royal Air Force flew over the beach barbecue. Compared to recent G7 summits, the event was awash with goodwill.

But Brexit continued to hamper Johnson’s attempt to project an image of a “committed” country confident that would bring the world back together. Instead, the prime minister was drawn into battles of words with the UK’s closest trading partners in Europe.

Biden had urged Johnson before the summit to calm language on Northern Ireland. But the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom intensified it – Infuriating the French delegation.

The Royal Navy’s HMS Tamar cruises off the coast as climate activists protest from the Extinction Rebellion ashore in St Ives, Cornwall. © Daniel Leal / Olivas / AFP / Getty

His foreign minister, Dominic Raab, accused EU leaders of behaving as if Northern Ireland was “in some way a different country from the United Kingdom”. David Frost, Britain’s EU minister, appeared at the meetings wearing Union stockings, while British officials noted that HMS Tamar, a Royal Navy ship patrolling the waters off Carbis Bay, was the ship recently sent to the Channel Islands in Fishing dispute with France.

Johnson insisted at his closing press conference that Brexit was just a “very small” part of the G7 discussions. The first face-to-face meeting of Western leaders in nearly two years was an occasion for “wonderful harmony”.

This was certainly not a repeat of the 2018 G7 summit, when Trump disavowed the summit statement and described the host, Canadian Justin Trudeau, ‘Weak and dishonest’. But the leaders who left Karbis Bay on Sunday left much unfinished business behind.

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