Internet reportedly shut down as G7 leaders argue with Biden over China – –

Internet reportedly shut down as G7 leaders argue with Biden over China – –

LONDON — The main focus of President Biden’s European tour this week was simply to show that the United States “is back!” at the heart of Western diplomatic consensus.
Unfortunately, the world is a little more complicated than that. On Saturday night in England, it was starting to look like the White House had been a bit overconfident as Biden’s charms would lead him to persuade other G7 leaders to swallow all of his political positions. Even if he’s not Donald Trump.

The president tried to coax his colleagues into signing a joint statement directly calling on China to practice forced labor in Xinjiang province, where the Uyghur Muslim minority is Beijing’s target. It was not a resounding success.

The White House’s own twist conceded it in typically diplomatic language. “There’s a little differentiation, I think I would say, inside – inside, I think, of the specter of how hard they would lobby some of these issues,” a senior official said. the Biden administration during a briefing to reporters.

Reports from inside the room went further with allegations of a clear division among the leaders over whether China should be called out explicitly. “The disagreements, broadcast during a session which at one point became so sensitive that the entire internet was cut in the room, pitted European nations against the United States, Britain and Canada,” according to a CNN report on the meeting.

The senior White House official said Biden “is really leading the charge … And I would say the Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson was very close behind him.

It remains to be seen whether the former Anglo-Saxon alliance, backed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will succeed in persuading the mainland European contingent and Japan to rally to some sort of declaration condemning China in a joint statement to be released. on Sunday.

These kinds of negotiations are often hammered out before meetings between leaders, which are usually more of a photo opportunity.

French President Emmanuel Macron sounded the alarm last week, warning Washington that Europe had failed to follow Biden’s apparent desire to “return to [the logic] of the Cold War ”with China presented as the new enemy of the West.

He insisted that Europe would retain its independence when it came to building a relationship with China, with a policy that “should neither be vassalized by China nor aligned on this subject with the United States. of America ”.

Biden was more successful in gaining support for the idea of ​​a new green version of China’s “New Silk Road”.

The Build Back Better World initiative is designed to provide developing countries with an alternative source of finance and loans for infrastructure projects, which is currently offered by China.

Critics of China’s massive global investments – currently accessible to around 100 countries – claim that they are deliberately trapping developing countries in debt, buying them enormous clout over local governments around the world.

The Trump administration had also discussed the establishment of a Western alternative to this Chinese financing offer, but it never delivered real money. It is too early to tell if the G7 version will be backed by the kind of investments to make it a real alternative to the billions of Chinese dollars.

Bargaining over the finer points was scheduled to continue on Cornwall Beach on Saturday night as officers enjoyed grilled lobster and mulled buttered rum.


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