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The unseen tensions at G-7



So here’s what’s in print for Friday in Cornwall: Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson will push for the group to collectively donate 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to developing countries. In the same spirit, Johnson will push for a “climate marshall plan” along with a broader effort towards a global economic recovery that reduces inequality. China is finding out that when you are not at the table, you are on the menu.

Speaking of menus: managers are served velvet crab, Dover sole, haggis mousse and pineapple grass (think wild chamomile) by Ugly Butterfly, a service that uses discarded food to reduce waste.

A note from the pulpits: Journalists have found the summit organization unusually cumbersome ̵

1; much of it because of Covid complications, some of it because of cicadas – a Cornwall hotel-dwelling journalist even shuts down after a Covid outbreak.

Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.

Everyone smiles, and Jill Biden had literally his “LOVE” for Europe, but what are the invisible tensions as leaders arrive in Cornwall to start the G-7s three days?

Anita Kumar

White House Correspondent & Associate Editor

Biden is eager for the United States to regain world leadership, but he will find that much has changed in the last four years. Other countries, primarily European allies, including Britain, France and Germany, have sought to fill the void left by the United States on a range of issues, from keeping Iran’s nuclear ambitions in check to combating climate change, and they may not be eager to give up that power.

Pauline de Saint Remy

Paris Playbook Author

Emmanuel Macron does not intend to give up the role he played when Trump was in power: to keep the walls open in a multilateral system abandoned by the United States. During a press conference at the Elysée Palace yesterday, he showed that the trauma of the Trump years is still there, and Europe still intends to be aware of ambiguity in American mood.

David Herszenhorn

Chief Brussels Correspondent

Public leaders welcomed Biden’s relocation to makes America’s global reputation big again, but they also strewn when the United States for more than a year actually banned the export of vaccines as it worked to inoculate its own population. EU Ursula von der Leyen used a press conference to repeatedly declare how the EU had served as the world’s largest exporter of vaccines, calling Biden’s announcement on vaccine donation “potential.”

Esther Webber

Senior UK correspondent

Biden and Boris Johnson were denied the total love they had tried to look up to The times of London reported Washington’s senior diplomat in London summoned a British minister earlier this month to offer a reprimand on the United Kingdom’s handling of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In public Biden played nicely over Brexit,

Stuart Lau

EU-China correspondent

China is the elephant in space. Biden wants a hard and united front, but the French government wants Europe to shape its own China policy in a spirit of “strategic autonomy” instead of following US leadership. Angela Merkel is less interested in expressing Beijing’s human rights violations than in increasing car sales. But Beijing has shaken a once-positive mood with Europe by sanctioning European parliamentarians.

How do we know if Biden has a good summit?

Nahal Toosi

Correspondent for Foreign Affairs

Biden is an old hand at the summit, and the fact that he starts by seeing a bunch of allies before meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin is by design. In part, it will warm him up before the Putin meeting, but it is also a diplomatic expression of power from democracies vis-à-vis China and Russia. If you see Biden laughing, patting people on the shoulders and nodding with a smile, it means he’s fine. A quiet, stern face Biden could signal that not everything is great.

Kumar: Biden has important meetings in Cornwall and Brussels to be sure, but in the United States he is likely to be judged by the Putin meeting. His administration has downplayed the possibility of a major political agreement, which is all the more reason why Biden will be judged on how he handles the criticism he already receives for proposing the meeting in the first place.

Each leader arrives with a pet priority or peeve – what is low-down from your capital?

Andy Blatchford

Canada correspondent

The restoration of unity in the club for greater democracies is a big deal for a country like Canada. Trudeau and Canadian officials are focused on three Cs: Covid-19, China and climate. They believe that the G-7 will make progress that challenges China in areas such as human rights, and they will work to advance commitments on democracy, gender and the oceans.

Webber: Johnson wants to move forward on climate change with one eye on the next summit to be hosted in the UK, COP26. Oh, and according to the London Playbook, he would consider it a failure if he did not make Biden laugh.

Ryan Heath

Global Translations Author

If France’s Macron is this OTT in public, the leaders need to prepare for a really special show in private. Macron is hyperactively pushing for more coordinated global Covid-19 action – on everything from vaccine donations to funding health systems. He also went where Biden did not dare: publicly tell Boris Johnson that he is “not serious” about how he handles Brexit.

Kumar: Biden has repeatedly stressed that his foreign policy will strengthen his domestic policy, which directly benefits average Americans at home. The concept is not entirely new to him, as we wrote this week, but it is one that some observers say he is focusing more on now because he is trying to appeal to the cross-section of working-class voters who helped him win in 2020.

What do you make of Biden’s commitment to send 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine around the world?

Carmen Paun

Global health correspondent

America is back, and now it has the vaccines to prove it. It is a major gesture that will put pressure on other rich countries to intensify their vaccine donation game, and it discourages China and Russia’s vaccine diplomacy to poor countries that either could not afford them or were at the back of the line for Pfizer and Modern vaccines. The US donation totaling 580 million doses dwarfs China’s 23 million and Russia’s 187,000.

The next real test: handling Pfizer vaccine needs ultra-cold storage: We have already seen some poor countries destroy or give back AstraZeneca doses because they could not use them before the expiration date.

Toosi: Honestly, that kind of thing had to happen, not because this White House had any credibility with developing countries? You can not accuse Donald Trump of walking away from global leadership and then not taking a step like this. And do not be surprised if countries demand even more from the United States. How the Biden administration will later respond to such demands will be very interesting.

Kumar: I totally agree with Carmen and Nahal. If Biden wants the United States to become a leader, he had to step up. Health organizations and human rights groups had pushed the United States to do more. This step is an example for other countries to follow.

Heat: Allies like Belgium – home to Pfizer’s largest factory – are convinced of how this is happening. The Belgian Prime Minister told me that months of Biden prioritizing US vaccine production and controlling the export of vaccine raw materials have undercut global production. Now they are worried about extended disruptions in these very sensitive supply chains because Biden insists on manufacturing the donated doses at home. ”

Webber: The United Kingdom is determined not to be left out and has announced that it will send 100 million vaccines around the world. The amount is not as important as the signal it sends: Boris Johnson is currently under fire in the domestic market from across the political spectrum to cut the UK aid budget from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of national income. This allows him to argue that he is not as introverted as his critics claim.

Is this new Atlantic charter worth the paper it’s written on?

Toosi: The document is not as tedious as these documents tend to be. It certainly seems quite modern and forward-looking. However, I am interested in this line: ‘We will work through the rules-based international order to tackle global challenges together.’ It’s the kind of thing that tends to pinpoint Moscow and Beijing that have a different view of the ‘rules’ and the ‘international order’. ”

Webber: The charter may be filled with lofty ideals and vague overtures, but as a symbol it is quite useful. Both administrations are looking to stabilize the boat after the turbulent Trump years, and that’s a nice way to give some work to that effort. The document serves to emphasize a genuine area of ​​agreement – the need for democracies to stand together as a counterweight to China and Russia – but cannot completely distract from the ongoing tensions over Northern Ireland.

Now that all the G-7 leaders are on the ground in Cornwall, it’s time for the special guests to arrive: the leaders of India, South Africa, South Korea and Australia. It’s all part of Boris Johnson’s plan to give the G-7 information and eventually turn the group into a D-10 or D-11, where D stands for democracy.

See you in a few hours to finish the big first day.


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