Biarritz is a tourist destination in southwestern France, and this small town will celebrate the 45th meeting of the G7 leaders this weekend. As the initiator of the “Seven-State Club”, France was painstaking about this home-based diplomacy, but “the wish is very full, but the reality is very skinny.” Take a look at the last G7 summit, as well as the relationship between the United States and European allies under Trump’s administration in the past two years, and then look at the internal worries of the major European powers. The dilemma seems to have been written on paper.
Strive for unity
From two aspects, it can be seen that France has worked hard on this upcoming G7 meeting: the meeting was specially selected on the Atlantic coast, and there seems to be a consideration for the “Atlantic Alliance” and expecting the United States to “return”; Judging from the results of the previous ministerial meeting, France also tried to use the interests of the landlords to guide the meeting from soft issues and avoid reappearing the embarrassing situation of the Western split and the confrontation between the United States and Europe. However, the efforts of the host are difficult to conceal the current situation of deepening the relationship between Europe and the United States, and it is difficult to restore the gradual decline of the G7.
According to the French design agenda, “opposing inequality” became the subject of this meeting, covering social policy areas such as gender, education and health, climate change and ecological transformation, trade, taxation and development policies, and security and digital technologies, artificial intelligence, etc. . Starting from the social field, “declaring war on inequality” not only reflects France’s attempt to shift the geopolitical contradictions that are emerging between Europe and the United States to social differentiation, but also exposes allies to “getting the US and having nothing to do with it.” Hey.
In order to prevent the United States from spreading from the inertia of the “willful exit” to the “G7” in the multilateral mechanism, countries such as Europe and Japan have to adopt a policy of appeasement and defamation against the United States in an attempt to retain the United States and exchange for the apparent solidarity of the seven countries. Judging from the results of the previous series of ministerial conferences, European countries have made different degrees of compromise on the United States on issues of major differences between the United States and Europe, such as climate change, trade, the Iranian nuclear issue and nuclear non-proliferation, especially in the United States. The unilateral withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and the China-Israeli Treaty has led to a heightened situation in the Middle East and a major return on the nuclear arms race. The statement of the G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting has pointed to Iran and Russia, not only accusing Iran of “increasing regional tensions”. The situation will also lead to the responsibility of the “death” of the “Guide to the Treaty” almost completely to the Russian side, but the United States has not even complained about the perpetrators. At the same time, under the background of pressure from the United States against China, the G-7 is also interested in providing countermeasures. It not only makes irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea and China’s internal affairs, but also regards China as a target for its internal contradictions in trade and other issues.
But no matter how hard the French “pastemaker” has done, the differences within the G7, especially between the United States and Europe, are difficult to cover up. As a matter of expediency to avoid trade wars between the two sides, the US-European free trade negotiations have been uninterrupted, but the differences are serious and long-lasting. The impatience of the United States is gradually difficult to control, and the winds are released from time to time. On the eve of the summit, insiders revealed that due to the huge contradiction in trade issues, the summit may not be able to reach a final agreement.
The basis of mutual trust is gradually lost
Since Trump took office, the goal of the G-7 leaders’ meeting has changed from “joining the world” to joining forces to “respond to the United States.” From the initial attempts to influence and transformation to confrontation, the US oil and salt will not enter its allies. We are aware that under the policy of the “US First” principle, we must continue to compromise and at the same time, we must also find a way out or even start a new stove. Therefore, it can be seen that on the one hand, the seven countries are discussing the issue of levying digital taxes and claiming that “a partial consensus has been reached”. On the other hand, France has imposed a digital tax on US companies in accordance with its domestic legislation.
On the eve of the meeting, President Mark Long not only received Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was expelled by the G7, but also proposed a grand vision of European-Russian cooperation to “reshape Europe”. It has created a strong momentum and made a hot fight with Russia. The initiative to “rebuild the G8.” The purpose of France is not only to balance Russia’s pressure from the United States, to improve the balance between France and Europe in the big countries, but also to influence the Trump administration in advance for the G7 leaders to be held in the United States next year. Meet the preset theme.
Even if the G-7 leaders’ meeting can maintain the appearance of being together once a year, it is obviously difficult to make up for the fading mutual trust and the difficult way to get along with each other. So the French choose Biarritz as the meeting place may have another meaning: this region is rich in the best wines in France, and France is going to use it to treat American guests who have recently claimed to impose tariffs on French wines. .
Difficult to escape micro fate?
In addition to the chaos in the G7, ignoring the huge and profound changes in the international situation and ignoring the general trend of democratization of international relations, it is the most important reason for the Group of Seven to escape the micro-destiny.
From the beginning of the 1970s, the “rich club”, which accounted for 70% of the world’s total economy, controlled the lifeblood of the world economy and dominated the fate of most countries, today accounts for less than 50% of the world’s total economy. The “conservative clubs” that rank in order and do not respect the diversity of development roads, the closed and narrow, zero-sum confrontation and stagnation of the G7 make it difficult to follow the historical trend and finally become self-defeating. While the logic of liberalism still prevails, the G-7 can also delay its closure through dialogue with emerging markets; but in the context of the current zero-sum game thinking re-emphasizing in the West, the G-7 retreats in a conservative direction. It is accelerating. If it is bent on its own way, it will not be enough to make up for the deficit of global governance. It will not be enough to promote the process of distorting globalization.
Therefore, the correct perspective for the meeting of the leaders of the G7 should be that the upcoming performance on the French Riviera is no longer a power game in which a few people decide the fate of most countries, but how to guard against each other and harm each other. The code, although there are indeed good French wines there.