G7 in Hiroshima seen from Asia
Taiwan, containing China, and the Ukraine War will top the agenda of this year’s summit of the most industrialised countries. In light of regional dynamics, they will be joined by India, South Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, China is hosting a meeting with Central Asian countries in Xi'an. The World Food Programme makes an appeal for food security, while Oxfam reports that G7 countries owe US$ 13.3 trillion in unpaid aid and funding.
Hiroshima (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The world’s attention is set on Hiroshima, where G7 leaders have arrived for their annual summit, chaired this year by the host nation, Japan.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its global repercussions will top the agenda once again. But China’s threats against Taiwan will also dominate the discussions, as will steps to reduce Western democracies’ dependence on supply chains centred on China, especially in strategic sectors like semiconductors.
The balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region will be at the centre of sessions with other invited participants, an established practice at G7 meetings, including the leaders of South Korea, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Interestingly, as the G7 summit gets underway in Hiroshima, Chinese President Xi Jinping will chair a two-day summit in Xi'an with the leaders of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Ostensibly, this is meant to give renewed impetus to Belt and Road Initiative, the “new silk road”, Beijing’s great infrastructural development plan designed to link China to Europe.
In light of all this, a highly anticipated trilateral meeting is set to take place on the sidelines of the G7 on Sunday between Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, US President Joe Biden, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol.
The three are expected to discuss ways to boost security cooperation, including stronger nuclear deterrence in Asia given recent developments. And to discuss such issues in Japan and in Hiroshima of all places cannot fail to raise heavy questions.
Prime Minister Kishida, who chose in fact his hometown to emphasise his message, will join South Korean President Yoon to inaugurate a monument to honour the Korean victims of the atomic bomb.
The is part of a journey the two countries are undertaking to boost cooperation by turning the page on the sensitive issue of Japan's colonial rule over the Korean peninsula between 1910 and 1945 and the lingering disputes it caused.
Finally, cooperation with the global South is another topic on the G7 agenda in Hiroshima.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an appeal on food security, noting that 828 million people in the world wake up every day not knowing where their next meal will come from.
“Food assistance is crucial to preventing acute hunger and malnutrition, but it is a short-term solution and comes at a high cost,” writes the WFP. Instead, it “must be combined with longer-term investments in development and increasing sustainable agricultural production.”
Based on the experience gained during the COVID-19 emergency, G7 leaders will also discuss a plan to manufacture and purchase vaccines, as well as invest in low-temperature storage facilities and training of health workers to prepare for the next global pandemic.
In this respect, a grain of salt is needed since many of the development promises made at these summits are never kept.
In fact, a report just released by Oxfam suggests that G7 countries owe low- and middle-income countries US$ 13.3 trillion in unpaid aid and funding for climate action.