Why bother with next G7 summit? Just call it off

By Shi Tian Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/27 20:53:40

Does the world need the G7 organization anymore? Judging from the just concluded summit in France, the answer might be "No." 

The three-day annual gathering of the seven advanced countries was held from Saturday in the French city of Biarritz amid a global economic downturn and tensions in various regions of the world.

Trying to avoid a reprise of 2018's debacle when US President Donald Trump rejected summit communiqués, this year's summit seems to have deliberately skirted around front-burner issues but focused on fights against inequality. Even so, internal inconsistency and the decreasing influence of G7 have been completely unmasked. 

As what Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations said, "More likely, the gathering will expose the political, economic and ideological fault lines threatening Western solidarity and international cooperation."

 It was quarrels among participating states over trade frictions, the Middle East situation and Russia that dominated much of the news, but settling the differences and solving problems were hardly seen. President Trump even skipped the meeting on climate change - one of the major challenges facing the world.

"A parade of lies" - This is what CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto called this year's gathering. The G7 summit has gradually lost its original intention of addressing collectively shared problems, and has become more like a political show of the world leaders.

Can G7 tackle global questions? As a group composed of the world's most developed nations, it in all probability has the strength as a whole. But as every member places its own interests first, compromise and coordination is increasingly out of the question.

Worse, in many cases, it is the G7 members themselves who have kicked the dust up. The Iran nuclear issue and US-launched trade wars are examples. How can these leading countries play a substantial role in international affairs without dealing with themselves?

Take the Hong Kong problem. The US tried hard to use Hong Kong as a bargaining chip in trade talks with China, and it is widely suspected that Washington has been manipulating Hong Kong riots behind the scenes. London and Ottawa have also attempted to intervene. 

But at the end of the summit, these troublemakers shed crocodile tears over the Chinese city's misfortune, once again pointing fingers at China's internal affairs and stating that "The G7 reaffirms the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and calls for violence to be avoided."

It was reported that Trump suggested hosting 2020's G7 summit at his resort in Florida, but soon was mocked as trying to profit from the intergovernmental meeting. From our perspective, there is no need for the leaders to bother with the next gathering's location; simply calling it off might be a good option. After all, except for attracting visitors to the host cities, the G7 summit has little to be praiseworthy.

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