more wank from trump

Trump’s ‘G11’ plan heightens speculation over efforts to build new anti-China alliance
Simone McCarthy, Wendy Wu, SCMP, May 31 2020

Trump plans to invite Australia, India, South Korea and Russia to join an upcoming G7 meeting, in a move that has stoked speculation that he is trying to form a bloc to contain China. Trump did not say whether he wanted the G7 to become the G11 permanently, but said on Saturday that he wanted to invite the four to attend the summit and said he felt the group was “very outdated.” White House spox Alyssa Farah said Trump wants the summit to discuss China. South Korea and Australia are both long-standing Pindo vassals, and the latter has backed calls for an independent inquiry into the source of the coronavirus and also expressed concerns about the planned national security law for HK. India, which is at the centre of Faschingstein’s Indo-Pacific strategy, also has a range of disagreements with China, including their current border stand-off in Ladakh. Russia has been building an economic and strategic partnership with Beijing and was kicked out of the G8, which calls its willingness to join any Pindo-led bloc into question. Trump has on several occasions suggested the country should be invited back, due to its global strategic importance. Ni Feng, director of the Institute of Pindon studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Trump was trying to mobilise support from Pindos in containing China. Ni said:

The intention is simple: to isolate China. It is just the beginning, and more containment measures will follow.

The idea of expanding the G7 could be Faschingstein’s latest attempt to forge an international coalition without China. Wang Wen, executive dean at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, pointed to the domestic situation in Pindostan and said:

One thing is absolutely sure: the soft power and leadership of Pindostan has been greatly damaged, and its influence in global affairs are set to wane further. Other countries don’t want to pick sides between China and Pindostan. It’s Faschingstein’s fantasy to form a global cold war front-line against China. The postponement of the G7 summit reflects Pindo weakness, as it failed to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control in a timely manner.

Trump had hoped to hold the summit in June to show “normalisation” but scrapped the plan after Trudeau declined to endorse it and Merkel said she would not attend. Trump now says he wants the leaders to meet in person in Faschingstein in September or later. Wu Xinbo, director of Centre for Pindo Studies with Fudan University, argued it was questionable whether Pindostan could succeed in building an anti-China alliance. Wu said:

The idea of driving a wedge between Russia and China is wishful thinking. India will not be in the same trench with Pindostan, and China’s relationship with South Korea is actually improving.

At the same time, China’s rising geopolitical, economic and technological power, along with its increasingly assertive foreign policy, have prompted renewed efforts from democratic countries to seek common ground on China. On Friday, Britain said it was pushing Pinsostan to form a club of 10 nations that could develop their own 5G technology and reduce dependence on China’s controversial technology giant Huawei. On the economic front, Pindostan has launched a fledgling initiative known as the Economic Prosperity Network bringing together countries and businesses that “operate under the same set of values.” Shahar Hameiri, an associate professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Political Science and International Studies, said it was “fair to assume” that Trump’s proposal for an expanded G7 was linked to the increasing Pindo-China rivalry. He said:

Maybe we are at a point where the emerging decoupling between the two major powers, Pindostan and China, is starting to manifest in increasing attempts to develop international policy-making platforms or organisations that exclude China more. Beijing could suffer a significant blow if it was excluded from any new Pindo-led initiative that moved towards a different form of international economic organisation that steps away from the more globalised system that China has benefited from.

However, he said it was not clear that the countries in question would be “particularly thrilled” to follow this path and it was a “big if” whether any substantive changes to the G7 would happen. The countries involved also have their own business and commercial interests in China, which might make it hard to reach a consensus on isolating and containing China. Despite the current spat between Beijing and Canberra over calls for a coronavirus inquiry, China remains Australia’s largest trading partner and its biggest export market. James Laurenceson, director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology in Sydney, said Australian boxtops would be very cautious about Trump’s proposal. Laurenceson said:

This is Trump blatantly seeking to mobilise a grouping against China, Australia’s largest trading partner, and embracing Russia in the process, a country that Australia has been openly critical of previously. I can’t see it flying.

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