China: What Are They Up To?

The world appears to be teetering on the brink of a massive economic disaster.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the G7 group of the largest developed nations will have quite different ideas about how to forcefully face China.

These ideas will be shared when they meet on Sunday in the Bavarian Alps.

The Conundrum

China now seems to be a direct philosophical opponent, rather than a possible partner who can assist in leading the global economy back from the brink, amid worries of imminent downturns and crises over the supply of food/energy.

After the global financial meltdown of 2007–2008, things were different. China participated actively and frequently in the G20 framework back then, supporting major diplomatic initiatives based on sizable fiscal stimulus and the avoidance of trade disputes.

Many even projected a new era in which Beijing and Washington would work together to influence global economic policy.

Now, President Xi Jinping has taken a sharp turn toward authoritarianism, intensifying domestic repression and forming strong ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the conflict in Ukraine.

China is now publicly pulling on a different economic path than the G7. It is extending a lifeline to Russia, which has been hammered by sanctions.

China also remains engaged in a trade battle with Lithuania over Taiwan; it is ignoring international criticism of its zero-COVID plan, which is upending supply chains.

China Needs to Change

Leaders want to “promote a vision of the world built in liberty and transparency, not force, not aggressiveness, not spheres of influence,” according to a senior U.S. intelligence source who spoke before the summit.

The official stated the G7 nations will need to increase their coordination with regard to “economic concerns, internet, quantum,” and “in all, the challenges presented by China.”

The representative said, “We anticipate that is continuing to be a larger subject of discussion, this time acknowledging the scope to which those procedures have become quite assertive.”

He noted last year’s G7 was the very first time the group discussed China’s “unfair” and “forcible business policies.”

Top American officials are clear that providing an option for Belt and Road is part of the effort against China.

The Build Back Better World initiative, established at the G7 last year, will likely be rebranded by Biden with a catchier title and an emphasis on some tangible initiatives in target regions, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

According to Jake Sullivan, Biden’s top aide, “He will be launching a collaboration for a worldwide network, physical health, and internet connectivity to the melody of tens and hundreds of billions when users add what our G7 collaborators are going to do.”

“We want this to be a defining feature of the Biden government’s foreign policy for the rest of his term.”