Biden to urge G7 leaders to call and compete with China – –

Biden to urge G7 leaders to call and compete with China – –

CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND – The United States plans to push its Democratic allies on Saturday to publicly call on China for forced labor practices as Group of Seven leaders meet at a summit where they will also unveil a plan to infrastructure intended to compete with Beijing’s efforts in the developing world.

The provocative proposal is part of US President Joe Biden’s growing campaign to get other Democratic leaders to present a more unified front to compete economically with China in the coming century, according to two senior administration officials who have briefed them. reporters on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly.

Officials said Biden wanted G7 leaders to speak with one voice against forced labor practices targeting Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities. Biden hopes the denunciation will be part of the joint statement released at the end of the summit, but some European allies have been reluctant to part with Beijing so forcefully. It may not be clear until the end of the three-day summit on Sunday whether leaders will take this step.

Leaders of wealthy nations were all smiles on Friday when their host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, greeted them at the summit on the freshly raked sands of Carbis Bay in southwest England for their first rally since 2019.

Last year’s rally was called off due to COVID-19, and the recovery from the pandemic dominates this year’s discussions, with members of the wealthy democracies club set to pledge to share at least 1 billion vaccines with countries in difficulty.

China also dominated the meeting on the rugged Cornish coast. Biden’s proposed criticism of China’s labor practices was expected to be raised as allies unveil an infrastructure proposal titled “Rebuilding Better for the World,” a name echoing the US president’s campaign slogan.

The plan calls for spending hundreds of millions of dollars in collaboration with the private sector. It is designed to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has launched a network of projects and sea lanes that are already winding through large parts of the world, primarily Asia and Africa. Critics say the projects often create massive debt and expose nations to undue influence from Beijing.

Britain also wants the world’s democracies to become less dependent on the Chinese economic giant. The UK government said Saturday’s talks will focus on “how we can shape the global system to live up to our values,” including diversifying the supply chains that currently rely heavily on China. .

Not all European powers saw China in as harsh a light as Biden, who described the rivalry with the tech-security state as the defining competition for the 21st century. But there are signs that Europe is willing to watch Beijing more.

Weeks before Biden took office last year, the European Commission announced that it had reached an agreement with Beijing on the Comprehensive Investment Agreement, a deal intended to provide Europe and to China better access to their respective markets. The Biden administration had hoped to have consultations on the pact.

But the deal was suspended, and the European Union announced sanctions in March against four Chinese officials implicated in human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Beijing responded by imposing sanctions on several members of the European Parliament and other Europeans critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

Officials in the Biden administration see the moment as an opportunity to take concrete steps to denounce China’s dependence on forced labor as “an affront to human dignity.”

Although calling China in the statement would not create any immediate sanctions for Beijing, a senior administration official said the action was intended to send the message that the G-7 is serious about defending human rights. man and collaboration to eradicate the use of force manpower.

An estimated one million people or more, mostly Uyghurs, have been confined to re-education camps in China’s western Xinjiang region in recent years, researchers say. Chinese authorities have been accused of imposing forced labor, systematic birth control, torture and the separation of children from their imprisoned parents.

Beijing rejects allegations that it commits crimes.

G7 leaders – which also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – also hope the meeting at the resort will boost the global economy.

Johnson opened three days of talks on Friday by warning that world leaders must not repeat the mistakes of the past 18 months – or those made during the recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis. Otherwise, he said the pandemic “is at risk. to be a lasting scar ”that entrenched inequalities.

He said the G7 will announce health measures aimed at reducing the risk of another pandemic. The “Carbis Bay Declaration” will set a target of 100 days to develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for future diseases and to strengthen surveillance for new diseases.

Johnson said the goal of the measures was “to ensure that we are never caught off guard again.”

Brexit will also cast a shadow over the summit on Saturday, as Johnson will separately meet with EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron amid tensions over Britain’s implementation of divorce terms between UK and EU.

Macron will also be speaking with Biden – a meeting between allies who recalibrated their relationship over the four years of President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.

Macron’s preference for multilateralism was out of step with Trump’s isolationist tendencies. But the Trump era was often presented by Macron as a moment of clarification – a moment in which Europe had to move forward as America moved away from alliances and moved towards Trumpism.

Biden ends the trip on Wednesday with a summit in Geneva with Russian Vladimir Putin. The White House announced on Saturday that the leaders would not hold a joint press conference after the meeting, removing the possibility of comparisons to the availability that followed Trump and Putin’s 2018 Helsinki summit in which Trump stepped down. sided with Moscow about its own intelligence agencies.

Aides suggested that the United States did not want to uplift Putin any further by making the two appear together in such a format. Others have expressed concern that Putin may try to score points over Biden, 78, who will be in the final hours of a grueling eight-day European trip.

Putin, in an interview with NBC News, parts of which aired Friday, said US-Russian relations had “deteriorated to their lowest point in recent years.”

He added that while Trump was a “talented” and “colorful” person, Biden was a “career man” in politics, who has “some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will be no impulsive moves” from the part of the American president. .

To cap off Friday, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain’s biggest world star – traveled from Windsor Castle near London for a reception with G7 leaders and their wives at the Eden Project, a futuristic botanical garden housed inside domes that showcases the world’s largest indoor rainforest.

Members of the royal family – including heir to the throne Prince Charles, his son Prince William and William’s wife Kate – joined the leaders for the reception and a dinner of roasted turbot, potatoes Cornish news and greens with wild garlic pesto, cooked by a local chef.

The choice of a place with an ecological theme was deliberate. Climate change is also a high priority issue on the agenda, and hundreds of protesters have gathered in Cornwall to urge leaders to act, some disguised as sea creatures, including jellyfish. Protesters deployed a barge off the coast with two large inflatable figures on board representing Biden and Johnson.


Lemire reported from Plymouth, England. Associated Press editors Danica Kirka and Sylvia Hui in Falmouth, England contributed to this report.


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