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The World Once Again Divides Back Into Two Large Geopolitical Blocs

2 grandes bloques

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Between May 3rd and 5th 2021, the foreign ministers of the Group of 7 met in London. The G7 story began in 1975 with a first high-level meeting in Rambouillet, France, attended by leaders of six countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, West Germany, France and Italy.

Canada joined in 1976. There were seven industrialized countries that accounted for more than 60% of the global Gross Domestic Product at the time. After the Soviet collapse, the Russian Federation was part of the group from 1997 onwards —thus renamed G8— until Russia’s exclusion in 2014 in retaliation for its annexation of Crimea, in a Russian-Ukrainian conflict that continues to generate instability in the Black Sea.

Although official summits of politicians and bureaucrats have not ceased to multiply, few are really important. Others —of an unofficial nature— such as the Davos Forum are more relevant because they turn out to be the new axes of power and influence among large multilateral bureaucracies, intellectuals and politicians who push transnational socialist agendas with the support of big business in search of capturing rents, subsidies and privileges. They do this under covers that have ranged from the alleged overpopulation crisis —the great theme of the 1970s and the catastrophist Club of Rome— to the current globalist agenda, under the cloak of the fight against an allegedly anthropogenic climate change.

But the G7 meeting does matter. It is still, after all, the meeting of the American superpower with the rest of the major developed economies of the West.

The Sino-Russian alliance

Shortly before the meeting, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made strong statements about Russian cyber strategies of disinformation and propaganda as a destabilizing factor for Western democracies. It was to be expected.

The British Foreign Service has officially identified the Russian Federation —under Putin’s authoritarian nationalism and crony “capitalism”— as the greatest immediate external threat to its security, while recognizing the rising power of Chinese techno-totalitarianism as its greatest medium and long-term military, economic and technological challenge. Raab appealed to the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States in his meeting with the new Secretary of State Blinken.

After “celebrating” at the recent virtual meeting of G7 heads of state the absence of Trump and what they believe to be a return of the status quo with the Biden administration —a poor reading of today’s Washington with more wishful thinking than reality— the G7 powers are beginning to look to Washington for clear geostrategic commitments in a rapidly changing world.

NATO was formed at the beginning of the Cold War to contain the USSR and ensure that it did not advance on Western Europe. Today, in the face of a new and very different Cold War, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) between the United States, Japan, Australia and India has arisen in the Indo-Pacific to contain the aggressive expansion —not only military and ideological, but also economic, financial and commercial— of the emerging Chinese superpower. Among those invited to this G7 summit were Australia and India.

The presence of the full QUAD points to the United Kingdom joining the QUAD, formalizing a commitment already begun with investments in its naval power and an aircraft carrier force in the Indo-Pacific. A “new NATO” is beginning to emerge on the new front line between the two opposing superpowers.

Despite its flaws, the G7 is still relevant. (Image: EFE)

Obama’s poisoned legacy

In London it became clear that we are once again facing two hostile blocs led by two superpowers, the United States and a new China that has not ceased to be a fierce totalitarianism. It was inevitable, the CCP adopted capitalist tools —within the framework of a skillful manipulation of the rules of international trade and an even more skillful manipulation of business opportunities for concentrated interest groups that would serve as useful fools in the West— to sustain and update its totalitarianism, thus betting on strengthening its economy to make China an aggressively expansive superpower in all fields. And it was absurd to expect anything else from a totalitarian and genocidal power.

But Washington’s commercial, financial and political complacency with Chinese manipulations throughout the Obama administration —which the Biden administration would like to repeat, but cannot— was the key to China’s rise without any real restraint. Under Obama, Washington even made unforgivable political-military mistakes in the Pacific containment arc. However, with the Trump administration came —albeit belatedly— the recognition that China was already a hostile superpower with expansive strategies in all fields, so the United States and its allies would have to confront it.

The reality imposed two new power blocs and a new Cold War, radically different from the previous one. The Trump administration sought to weaken the key alliances of China’s geostrategic influence. And for this purpose it took care to neutralize a close Sino-Russian alliance, combining sanctions with areas of limited and punctual understanding with Russia. A reasonable strategy, with no guarantee of success, but better than declaring a second-rate power like the Russian Federation the main enemy; and the main enemy, China, as a force with which areas of cooperation, unthinkable with Russia, would be possible.

It is completely unrealistic, even absurd, because the CCP does not wish to cooperate but to manipulate what it perceives as Western weaknesses to further its global dominance in the medium and long term. Today Washington and its allies are bent on throwing Russia into the arms of a China in which Washington refuses to see the enemy it really is. The Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific is so aggressive that the “behind the scenes” of the G7 was the unpleasant awakening of Biden’s Washington in the face of unpostponable geostrategic responsibilities of high domestic political cost in the new Democratic Party.

Guillermo Rodríguez is a professor of Political Economy in the extension area of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Universidad Monteávila, in Caracas. A researcher at the Juan de Mariana Center and author of several books // Guillermo es profesor de Economía Política en el área de extensión de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas de la Universidad Monteávila, en Caracas, investigador en el Centro Juan de Mariana y autor de varios libros

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