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G7 leaders consider alternative plan to China’s Belt and Road project

G7 leaders launched a plan to help build infrastructure in poorer nations, offering a “values-driven, high-standard and transparent” partnership in opposition to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The adoption of the US-inspired “Build Back Better World” (B3W) project came after President Joe Biden and leaders met to address “strategic competition with China and commit to concrete actions to help meet the tremendous infrastructure need in low- and middle-income countries”, the White House said.

Meanwhile, Britain praised a “historical” action plan by G7 nations to prevent future pandemics.

The “Carbis Bay Declaration” – named after the seaside town in Cornwall, southwest England, where US President Joe Biden and other leaders are meeting this weekend – comprises a series of health policy commitments.

The collective steps include slashing the time to develop and license vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for any future disease to under 100 days while reinforcing global surveillance networks.

It will be formally published Sunday, alongside the G7’s final communique

“The #CarbisBayDeclaration marks a proud and historic moment for us all,” Mr. Johnson said on Twitter as world leaders kicked off the second day of their three-day summit.

“Under this agreement, the world’s leading democracies will commit to preventing a global pandemic from ever happening again, ensuring the devastation caused by COVID-19 is never repeated.”

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, criticized in some quarters for being too accommodating towards China, where the coronavirus originated, welcomed the health pact.

And he said the UN agency would examine a British proposal to create a “Global Pandemic Radar” to warn early about future outbreaks.

“The world needs a stronger global surveillance system to detect new epidemic and pandemic risks,” Tedros said.

However, aid charity Oxfam said the declaration “does nothing to address the fundamental problems preventing vaccines from being accessible to the vast majority of humanity”.

‘Genocide’ in China

The G7 – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States – are primarily focused on “building back better” after Covid-19 wrecked economies and claimed millions of lives worldwide.

They are expected to pledge to donate one billion vaccine doses to poor countries this year and next — although campaigners say the rollout is much too slow to end the crisis sooner.

The leaders are also set to issue new commitments on climate change, including financial aid for the developing world, in the buildup to the UN’s COP26 environmental summit in Scotland in November.

The agenda broadened Saturday to foreign policy issues, as the G7 was joined by Australia, South Africa, and South Korea, with India taking part remotely.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of a bilateral meeting during the G7 summit in Cornwall. ” src=”https://sl.sbs.com.au/public/image/file/94a3ad90-3db7-42e2-ad50-95bf5e4a6df9″ alt=” Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of a bilateral meeting during the G7 summit in Cornwall. ” width=”700″ height=”467″ />

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of a bilateral meeting during the G7 summit in Cornwall.


Biden is expected to press allies to bolster cooperation in dealing with a resurgent China, from offering an alternative to its trillion-dollar “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative to confronting its alleged forced labor practices, including against the Uyghur minority.

“This is not just about confronting or taking on China,” a senior White House official said. “This is about providing an affirmative, positive alternative vision for the world.”

He said Biden would urinate “concrete action” on the forced labor accusations, calling them “an affront to human dignity and an egregious example of China’s unfair economic competition”.

China denies allegations that it is waging “genocide” by forcing up to one million Uyghurs and people from other ethnic-Turkic minorities into internment camps in the region of Xinjiang.

Northern Ireland 

The US president will also seek to address frayed relations with Moscow, particularly its cyber activity.

Most of the G7 leaders will reconvene Monday in Brussels for a NATO meeting before Biden heads to his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, vowing to deliver a blunt message about Russian behavior.

In a rare interview with US media released Friday, Putin voiced hope that Biden would be less reckless than Donald Trump. The latter infamously sided with the Russian leader against the views of his intelligence chiefs.

“It is my great hope that, yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting US president,” Putin told NBC News.

Closer to home for the G7 hosts, Johnson came under concerted pressure in separate meetings with France, Germany, and the European Union to respect his Brexit commitments over Northern Ireland.

“The prime minister expressed confidence in the UK’s position in the Northern Ireland Protocol,” a defiant Downing Street responded, referring to special Brexit arrangements for the restive province.

“He made clear his desire for pragmatism and compromise on all sides but underlined that protecting the Belfast Good Friday (peace) Agreement in all its dimensions was paramount.”

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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