US, UK propose expansion of G7 grouping to counter China

Two countries, two proposals, but the motive is one — to keep China at bay and to contain and isolate Beijing. The United States and the United Kingdom both have announced the expansion of the G7 grouping. While the United States has proposed G7+4, the United Kingdom wants a G7+3, calling it ’10 Democracies (D10)’ which excludes Russia.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday announced postponing of the G7 Summit which was to be held later in June this year, calling it an “outdated” group that needs to incorporate other important and emerging democracies.

Speaking to reporters on board the Air Force One winging its way from Florida to Washington DC, Donald Trump said he is “postponing it until September” and plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India.

“I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,” Donald Trump said.

Founded in 1975, the G7 (group of seven) member states comprise France, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, the US, and the UK.

The United States holds the presidency of the G7 this year. Presidents in the past are known to invite heads of states or heads of governments of one or two countries to attend the summit as special invitees.

Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G7 Summit held in the country which included eight more invitees: South Africa, Australia, Chile, Egypt, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Spain.

The thrust in the proposals is to bring in the important democracies in the world to counter China.

The United Kingdom government, on the other hand, has also proposed a plan to expand the G7 into the ‘D10’ with a specific aim to counter China’s monopoly in the 5G sphere and create alternative suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on Beijing.

A UK High Commission official told India Today TV, “The security and resilience of our networks are of paramount importance.”

“Following the US announcement of additional sanctions against Huawei, the NCSC is looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK’s networks,” added the official.

The UK is collaborating with a number of international partners on a range of issues including cybersecurity.

According to reports, the British government had approached Washington about a “D10” club of democratic partners.

A day after the UK proposal, President Donald Trump announced the expansion of G7. Interestingly, the US list includes Russia. Whether if there will be consensus in the inclusion of Moscow is yet to be known.

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