The G7, or Group of Seven, an intergovernmental organisation uniting the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US, as well as the European Union, the group’s ‘8th member’, will be holding their annual summit this year in Cornwall, during June 11-13.
The UK will use its current G7 presidency to “unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future,” said a statement from the British High Commission.
“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced,” the Prime Minister said. “It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future.”
India, South Korea and Australia will be attending as guest countries the first in-person G7 Summit in almost two years.
In June 2020, when the U.S. held the presidency over the G7, President Donald Trump invited Indian Prime Minister Modi to attend the next, planned to take place in the U.S., G7 summit.
Modi responded that he commended Trump for his “creative and far-sighted approach, acknowledging the fact that such an expanded forum would be in keeping with the emerging realities of the post-Covid world”.
In reaction to India’s invitation to the 2020 G7 summit the Chinese state-run Global Times wrote on June 5, 2020, “The idea of G7 expansion carries geopolitical calculations with an obvious attempt to contain China. The US is keen on roping India in not only because the latter has become the fifth-largest economy in the world, but also because India is considered an important pillar for the US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy. The US has long sought to strengthen India’s role as a counterbalance to China in the Indo-Pacific region. “
On December 15, 2020, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had formally invited India to attend the G7 Summit in 2021.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans a visit to India known as the ‘pharmacy of the world’ before the G7 to build on working together during the pandemic. Johnson and Modi are understood to speak regularly. According to the Press Trust of India, the country is responsible for providing medical supplies to 133 countries in support of challenges with COVID 19.
The UK was the first G7 member to invite India to a G7 Summit in 2005, and the first P5 member to support a permanent UN Security Council seat for India. As the current president of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) forum and G20 president in 2023, “India will play a key role driving in multilateral cooperation helping to build back better around the world”, said the British High Commission.
Boris Johnson stated that “As a key player in the Indo-Pacific region, India is an increasingly indispensable partner for the United Kingdom as we work to boost jobs and growth, confront shared threats to our security and protect our planet.”
This is the third consecutive year Australia has been invited to the G7 Summit. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whom Boris Johnson invited to attend the summit in December 2020, said that the invitation was of great importance, especially in the light of the ‘metaphoric meteor’ of the coronavirus pandemic and economic recovery efforts.
“This is the meeting of the largest liberal, market-based democracy economies,” the Australian Prime Minister told the Seven Network on 16 December, “It is good for us to get together to line up on these issues and see how we can continue to support the recovery of the world economy.”
Boris Johnson accepted South Korea’s offer to attend this year’s P4G summit on green growth and sustainable development in May 2021, and in the letter the Prime Minister also invited South Korea to the G7 summit.
The 10 leaders will represent over 60% of the people living in democracies around the world.
There is a growing opinion that an alliance of democracies is necessary to stop Chinese communist party’s divide and conquer in pursuit of a world domination campaign against democratic states which utilises strategic investments and takeovers, cultivated influences, ideological propaganda and authoritarian technologies to erode the very foundations of the democratic societies.
On Jan. 17 Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper South China Morning Post, owned by Chinese Alibaba Group, re-published a video titled “China condemns G7 ‘meddling’ in Hong Kong affairs” first published in August 2019. In this video the Chinese foreign affairs spokesman conveys the CCP’s indignation over ‘irresponsible comments’ by the G7 leaders who had expressed ‘deep concern’ over Hong Kong in a joint statement at the end of their three-day meeting in southwestern France in 2019.
The summit in Cornwall will be an opportunity to see whether tough US policies towards China by former President Donald Trump will hold up with the new U.S. administration.
Britain also takes over the presidency of the UN Security Council in February 2021. Boris Johnson has indicated that he is seeking to boost the UK’s international presence on the new, post-Brexit road to the future.