Asia has been witnessing two momentous international events. One is the China-Central Asia Summit which was held in China on Thursday and Friday. And another, is the annual Group of Seven (G7) Summit that kicked off on Friday in Japan.
While the two-day China-Central Asia Summit reached a serious of consensuses on consolidating cooperation between China and its five Central Asian neighbors, the G7, an exclusive club with lifetime membership for the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, had repeatedly signaled to counter economic coercion from any country and officially announced tougher sanctions against Russia.
Experts said that instead of providing opportunities for cooperation to the regional and international communities, this year's G7 summit posed challenges and tensions that would fuel the split of the world.
Two summits, striking contrast
The China-Central Asia Summit, which ran from Thursday to Friday in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, was the first in-person meeting between the leaders of China and the Central Asia countries, namely, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
During the event, China and the five Central Asia countries signed seven bilateral and multilateral documents, including the Xi'an Declaration of the China-Central Asia Summit and the List of Outcomes of the China-Central Asia Summit.
According to the documents, they vowed to join hands to build a community with a shared future, establish meeting and dialogue mechanisms and a wide range of multilateral cooperation platforms in industry and investment, agriculture, transportation, emergency management, education, and political party affairs.
The summit was hailed by many experts and officials from all sides as "fruitful" and a "milestone" for China-Central Asia ties, the outcomes of which would bring benefits to both the region and the world.
On the same day, after their talks in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, G7 leaders also reached a consensus and decided to stiffen sanctions against Russia, ignoring what the Russian side had warned that new sanctions imposed on Russia would surely hit the global economy and increase the risk of a global economic crisis.
A statement issued by G7 leaders said restrictions would cover exports of industrial machinery, tools and technology useful to Russia's effort in the Ukraine conflict. Imposition would also be carried out to limit Russian revenues from trade in metals and diamonds.
"The China-Central Asia Summit does not target any third party and the participating countries are all equal and committed to building a China-Central Asia community with a shared future featuring mutual assistance, common development, universal security and friendship. The G7, on the other hand, is keen to stir up geopolitical tensions and confrontations and coerce other countries to choose sides. This is a striking contrast, " Liu Jinsong, director-general of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry commented on the two summits on Friday.
G7's mindset splits the world
One of the particularities of this year's G7 summit is its commitment to helping poorer countries address economic and political crises that influence global peace and security, including those in Haiti, Myanmar, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Pakistan and Tunisia as well as across Africa.
As the host, Japan has invited the leaders of Australia, Brazil, Comoros, the Cook Islands, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam to join the three-day gathering.
However, according to experts, G7's attempts to interfere in international affairs will only increase tensions in the world.
"The G7 summit still highlights the tone and perspective of the geopolitical game, especially for its two members, the U.S. and Japan," Su Xiaohui, an associate researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, told the China Media Group (CMG) .
"It can be seen from a series of G7 agendas that the meeting called for the Western world to strengthen sanctions against Russia and at the same time to be defensive against China, attempting to bind these two together," Su said, adding that based on the the negative practices by the U.S. and Japan, this year's G7 Summit "does not provide the region and the international community with proactive cooperation and development opportunities, but challenges and hidden dangers."
China was a hot topic before the summit. The Western media had been hyping G7's unified countermeasures against China following the call by the U.S. and a joint-statement to be released after the summit to deal with "China's economic coercion," an allegation seriously refuted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
In terms of G7's decision to sanction Russia, Yan Zhanyu, an associate professor at University of International Business and Economics in China, said it demonstrated the G7's "group thinking", which does not play the role of "leading the world", but focuses on "narrow multilateralism" and an arrogant belief that its interests represent the world's interests and that it should set up rules for other countries.
"If the world follows the mindset of the G7, it will always be confrontation and cruelty," said Yan.
(Cover: A rally to protest against the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, May 17, 2023. /CFP)