It appears the final G-7 communique on China was a bit watered down for Washington's taste, after it become clear the Biden administration hoped to make the summit in Cornwall focused on China China China! ...but the uncomfortable irony that remains is that the very parties at the G-7 table that are most reliant on Chinese trade (Europe) have proven themselves least willing to crack down on Beijing's reach and influence.
A clearly softened (compared to US rhetoric of late) official communique issued at the G-7 close Sunday reads as follows: "With regard to China, and competition in the global economy, we will continue to consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy."
And further in very dry bureaucratic tone, it states "In the context of our respective responsibilities in the multilateral system, we will cooperate where it is in our mutual interest on shared global challenges, in particular addressing climate change and biodiversity loss in the context of COP26 and other multilateral discussions."
...all leading to a highly "cushioned" G-7 conclusion on China's human rights abuses:
At the same time and in so doing, we will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.
France's Macron is foremost among European leaders who has met Washington's urgent call for a more muscular strategy to confront Beijing with a big yawn, as Politico this weekend noted:
Macron’s zinger about differences over the Chinese military threat will help set the tone: "For my part, China isn’t part of the Atlantic geography, or perhaps my map is off." But France is also pushing back against China’s fait accompli policy in the Indopacific, the French Defense Minister Florence Parly told me in May.
In response to the muted G7 reaction to China human rights, the White House had actually released its own separate statement just ahead of the formal agreed upon communique.
Or did he?... no:
US President Biden persuades G7 to be more competitive towards China https://t.co/R7ycDcraD3— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) June 13, 2021
The White House statement said,
"The United States and our G7 partners remain deeply concerned by the use of all forms of forced labor in global supply chains, including state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities and supply chains of the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors—the main supply chains of concern in Xinjiang" - in a clearly more direct statement containing a litany of specific Chinese violations.
Blinken had earlier claimed "largely agreement" on China among G7 leaders in Cornwall... but the competing Sunday statements tell a different story.
On reported tension between Pres. Biden and world leaders at the G7 summit on countering China's global infrastructure initiatives, Sec. of State Antony Blinken tells @MarthaRaddatz: "What we have is largely agreement." https://t.co/bRcR04cdtm pic.twitter.com/UyG3YXcVCb— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 13, 2021
And about that "rival BRI" infrastructure plan...
After 7 years of ignoring, mocking and demonizing China’s New Silk Road, the West now proposes its own infrastructure project. But it’s supposed to be funded by private firms. Good luck — they’re going to be tiny ones seeking short-term profits. #BRI https://t.co/FWEtfgajBo— Global Politics (@Geopol2030) June 12, 2021