An absurd scene at G7 – the bandit leader ran for police chief: Global Times editorial
Published: May 14, 2023 11:49 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Group of Seven (G7) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' meeting that ended on Saturday did not name China in the joint statement, nor did it mention the so-called economic coercion that has been hyped for a long time. Nonetheless, it is hard to say the G7 is returning to rationality on the issue of China. It is more likely "retreating for the sake of advancing." The G7 has hinted that at the Hiroshima summit held from May 19 to May 21, the main statement is set to include "a section specific to China" with a list of concerns that include "economic coercion."

If this is the case, it means that after blatantly interfering in China's Taiwan question, the G7 is attempting to expand the front to contain China to a new area where politics and economy are integrated. This mainly reflects the intention of Washington, but Japan, who holds the rotating presidency of the G7 this year, has been more active and radical than the US in promoting joint actions and mobilization to contain China. The G7 is undergoing a functional transformation, and the Chinese people must keep a high degree of vigilance against it. This time, the G7 meeting was held at the door of China, and the Chinese could feel the new Cold War atmosphere emanating from there at close range.

Japan in particular should be warned. China has expressed its strong dissatisfaction with Japan on the negative trends against China at relevant G7 meetings and Japan's negative role in them, and lodged stern representations. How the G7 summit will be held depends on the attitude of the host country. If China is provoked, a considerable part of the account will be charged to Japan. If the G7 meeting is used to spread and magnify the maliciousness toward China, it will definitely have a negative impact on Japan itself. Today's Japan acts as a "leading party" to bring in foreign forces into East Asia, and it is bound to suffer the consequences. 

It is absurd to choose the so-called "economic coercion" as an attack point against China, especially when such accusations come from Washington and Tokyo. Speaking of economic coercion, there is a well-known case in which the US and Japan were the protagonists - the Plaza Accord signed in the 1980s. In order to reduce the fiscal deficit and trade deficit, the US forced the yen to appreciate sharply, leading the Japanese economy to enter "the lost 30 years." This pair of perpetrator and victim of economic coercion are now filing accusations against another victim. This not only exposes the arbitrariness of the perpetrators, but also reflects the complicated role played by Japan in Japan-US relations and the geopolitical pattern of East Asia. Japan is not simply a victim, but also an instigator and an accomplice.

China is qualified to oppose economic coercion, while the US is the least qualified. For many years, the US has engaged in countless practices of economic coercion, contributing to many textbook-level cases. The latest example is the "CHIPS and Science Act" that its Western allies feel indignant but dare not speak out against. By forcibly creating a "small circle" of chips to exclude the Chinese mainland, not only is the global chip industry affected, but the global supply chain may also be "split into two." In this context, some European countries still follow Washington in hyping about China's so-called "economic coercion," this appears somewhat ridiculous. Isn't this aiding and abetting the oppressor and supporting the bandit leader to run for police chief? 

China's so-called "economic coercion" hyped up by the US and its allies is nothing new. The most frequently cited examples are Lithuania and Australia. It must be emphasized that the two cases have nothing to do with "economic coercion." For example, Lithuania allowed the Taiwan authorities to establish a so-called "Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania" despite strong opposition from Beijing, which seriously violated the one-China principle and the political commitments made by Lithuania when establishing diplomatic relations with China. The Chinese government's resolute response to this is completely legitimate and inevitable.

Speaking of Australia, its previous government inexplicably provoked China on multiple issues related to China, dragging the China-Australia relationship to a freezing point. This inevitably had a negative impact on economic and trade cooperation. It is worth mentioning that when the Australian Labor government adjusted its policy toward China, it quickly brought about a turnaround in the China-Australia relationship. Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell has just completed his visit to China and "expressed satisfaction" with his talks with the Chinese side. We believe that through such mutual efforts to meet each other halfway, the differences and disputes that arise in the interaction between the two sides will be resolved. There is no such thing as "economic coercion" in this process.

The hype of the so-called "economic coercion" is actually "political framing." Some Western countries, including the US, have put the label of "economic coercion" on China, and there is another sinister intention, which is to morally blackmail China so that they can provoke and harm China's interests without any worries. They do not want to restrain their impulse to interfere in China's internal affairs, nor do they want to bear the price and consequences of their wrong actions. They don't respect China but want to gain unilateral benefits from China. How is this possible?