G7 strives to matter with dwindling influence

By Sun Xiaobo Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-7 23:28:01

The annual summit of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries kicked off on Sunday in the German resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen where thousands of protesters rallied and clashed with police.

The summit, established in the 1970s to handle the oil crisis, has returned to its original seven members. Russia joined in 1997 but was shut out last year due to the Ukrainecrisis.aspx" target="_blank">Ukraine crisis. The G7 leaders have on their agenda a wide range of topics that extend from economic to geopolitical issues with far-reaching influence in an evolving world.

The two-day gathering was held as major changes have taken place in the international economic and political landscape in recent years. Emerging countries have quickly risen to become a critical force to lead the world out of economic recession while the Group of 20 (G20), composed of emerging economies and major developed countries, has been pushed to the center of the world stage. In fact, what the world has to deal with now, such as conventional and unconventional security issues, economic difficulties and climate change, requires increasing participation of developing countries instead of G7 authoritarian rule. At the same time, the G7 has to realize that its own capabilities are being eclipsed while its members all have their own varied concerns, despite their shared values, hence more divergence than unity within the group.

Washington's leadership has been widely questioned over its handling of the Ukraine crisis. President Barack Obama intends to rally other G7 members to back the sanctions on Russia and isolate the Kremlin, but this is apparently not what his peers want to see. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the important role of Russia in solving many disputes and multiple ways of talking to her Russian counterpart, although she found it "unavoidable" that Russia is being excluded from the G7.

Meanwhile, Japan attempted to bring up the East and South China Seas issue, but its European counterparts are reluctant to affect their ties with a rising China by addressing it. It's also unlikely that the G7 members will work out a feasible plan to combat the ravaging IS.

In this context, the G7 remains influential in the world, but there are unlikely to be substantial outcomes at the gathering. As the world is marching toward multi-polarization, it requires more participation and consultations with powers by emerging countries instead of the overwhelming say of any particular group.
Posted in: Observer

blog comments powered by Disqus