Professor Mehran Kamrava: G7 can no longer decide the shape of the global order

by Oleg Burunov, Sputnik News

Friday saw the opening of two high-level regional gatherings: the China-Central Asian summit in Xian and the Arab League summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The events come as leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the UK and the US gathered in Hiroshima for a G7 summit.
Even though the G7 remains an institution that enables its members to sit down and discuss coordinating policies, this “no longer means that they can dictate the health or well-being or direction of the global economy,” Kamrava said.

“It no longer means that they can decide the shape of the global order, or that they can have tremendously consequential policies at the global level,” the professor argued, adding that the G7 now cannot be considered “a globally-determining force as it might have liked to have been.”

When asked about the significance of the China-Central Asian summit, Kamrava touted the event as “quite important”, something that he said reflects the fact that Beijing “has belatedly discovered the strategic significance of the Central Asian republics.”
“I think it’s critically important that China is hosting this summit because it indicates, again, that the PCR is now becoming a much more consequential diplomatic player on the global stage,” the expert emphasized.
He added that the China is internationally known as “a major producer of technology”, an important “commercial actor” in Africa and “a consequential player” in the Persian Gulf.

“And now what we’re seeing is China ensuring that it is also a consequential and significant player in Central Asia. The geographic, historical and logistical links between Beijing and Central Asia are much more robust than between Central Asian republics and countries in Europe or North America. And China is capitalizing on those logistical, transportation, historical and cultural links to deepen its diplomatic activity around the world,” Kamrava pointed out.

He was partly echoed by Dmitry Evstafiev, a Moscow­-based political scientist and HSE University professor, who told Sputnik that the China­-Central Asia summit is “very important” as a venue to discuss Beijing foraying into international markets, among other things.
On the G7 summit, Evstafiev referred to it as having a “non-creative format, which was inherited from the past and is currently used by inertia.” The political analyst underscored the point that the G7 format is “completely and unconditionally dependent on the US.”
“This format depends on the US’ global geopolitical capacity, which currently I perceive as not unconditionally effective and solid. So the question is whether the US, in its current condition, will be able to put forward some new program or a new vision for the G7. In my opinion, it will not. This means that this [G7] format will continue to recede into the fog of history,” the political scientist concluded.
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