Amidst the ongoing most consequential catastrophe in the history of humanity, the leaders of seven wealthy industrialized nations met at Cornwall, Britain. The G-7, which comprises major developed democracies, is struggling to revive its slithering economy. It serves as a platform for these elite nations to determine the future strategy of collective working in the aftermath of COVID-19. As this summit sees the first visit of US President Joe Biden after assuming office, it becomes more significant for the jargons of International Politics. A liberal leader who shaped his ideology during the Cold War period, Joe Biden has come a long way to demonstrate that ‘America is Back’ on the global platforms. By holding the summit at Cornwall, Britain has given it a shot to show its commitments for green technology before COP-26 at Glasgow scheduled in November 2021.
EPILOGUE OF THE EVENT :
The Communique released jointly by the members of G-7 has shown that they are striving hard to endure the democratic values and free open societies around the globe. The other main areas of focus are: curb the pandemic and prepare for the future, reinvigorate economies, partnership for resilient supply chains, enhance multilateralism, addressing contemporary issues like climate change and gender equality.
We live in a globalized world where everything is connected, be it information, technology, or even a virus. Members of G-7 understood clearly that to reinvigorate the global economy, the need of the hour is to vaccinate approx 60% population of the world. So, they vow to provide one billion doses of vaccine by next year. Another significant action is the call to all like-minded democratic allies to approach against authoritarian rule, mainly referring to China and Russia. China is emerging as a potential power in Asia-pacific that raises the eyebrows of Western Liberal Democracies.
EXPECTATION FOR EXPANSION :
It is pragmatic to understand that the economic, social, and political activities all around the globe can not be controlled only by seven elite nations. Some scholars also criticized it for being euro-centric and limited only to the west. Japan is the only country from Asia region as its members. Many voices were raised by G-7 members to open its door for some other prominent non-western democracies. This year fellow democracies like India, Australia, South Korea, and South Africa were invited to the Outreach session of the summit.
There is a “twin dilemma” for the G-7 members. One, China is continuously expanding its presence in the South-China sea region. Second, Russia’s growing interference in Ukraine. Both the issues have raised concern to the western democracies. Therefore, it needed to increase its allies in the Asia region to tackle the quandary. And here comes an opportunity for India to improve relations with the G-7 and arrests the Chinese expansionist tendency. Understanding the need for extending membership, British PM Borris Johnson proposed for D-10. Though members to be included are not clear yet, some scholars speculate that it might be India, Australia, and S. Korea.
OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIA :
India is an emerging and attractive market with reliable “Purchasing Power Parity” for the world. Being a neighbour of China and a strategically important location in the Indian Ocean region, it can serve the interests of the G-7 better than anyone else. There have been certain speculations that whether ties between two will be beneficial for both or only one side. At present, India grasped in the scary hands of the second wave of COVID-19. It needs financial assistance, medical equipment, and vaccines for the large population. Though manufacturing of indigenous vaccines is going on at a pace, yet it is not enough.
On the other hand, the G-7 countries want a market for their produce, which India can be one. They also need trusted supply chains that can serve as an alternative to present one under the Chinese dominance. In short, the G-7 is using the spoon of Democratic values to flavour its economic interests, but this cuisine will favour India too. The relationship between both can serve the vested interests of both sides. The leaders at the summit have launched a new global infrastructure initiative – Build Back Better World (B3W) to counter China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Addressing the summit on the second day of the Outreach session, PM Narendra Modi called India a ‘natural ally’ to all members of G-7. However, this statement can be said partially true. He raised the slogan ‘One Earth, One Health’ that emphasize the need for collective actions against ongoing Coronavirus and entrusting partnership for better health.
It can be said that emerging relations between G-7 and India are of ‘mutualism’ in nature, that is beneficial to both, rather than ‘commensalism in which only one party gets benefits.
IMPEDIMENTS IN RELATIONSHIP :
Despite positive scope for a better partnership, there are also some impediments in establishing relationships between the two. At present, almost every member of G-7 and India is deeply interwoven with the supply chains of China. It requires a couple of years to develop a resilient alternative. Second, there are some internal conflicts between the members regarding Brexit and Ireland issue. Third, India seems not to share very healthy relations with its members at World Trade Organization and United Nations Framework on Climate Change. India also alleged them of western biased for several times.
Notwithstanding all such differences, it is clear that democratic countries are looking to work together against COVID-19, authoritarian rule, gender inequality, and issues related to climate change. So, there is a concrete ray of hope for a healthy and transparent partnership for a better future.
(University of Lucknow)