The G7 and Economic Coercion, Say What?

In tandem with the G7’s decision to forge ahead with its militarization drive, came an escalation of the economic warfare, directed primarily against China and Russia. On the opening day of the summit in Hiroshima, May 19, the U.S. Treasury announced 300 new sanctions targeting Russia, many of them related to financial services, issued “in coordination with the G7”, in order to “further degrade Russia”. The European Union, for its part, is about to adopt an 11th round of sanctions against Russia. The European Commission wants to include punitive measures against third party companies and countries that circumvent the sanctions, in particular with export of high-tech goods with possible military uses, but that aspect is still contested.

So much for the formal sanctions. Unofficially, it is well known that the U.S., the U.K. and the EU have exerted all kinds of pressure and issued all kinds of threats on other countries to sever relations with Russia and avoid cooperation with China, in particular on the Belt and Road Initiative.

And yet, as if the rest of the world were unaware of such tactics, the G7 decided to establish a new “Commission against Economic Coercion”. The main target is China, which has become world leader in various key technologies.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry officially protested to the G7, stating that the United States is the one responsible for economic coercion in the world, by engaging in “massive unilateral sanctions and acts of ‘decoupling’ and disrupting industrial and supply chains”. The ministry’s spokesman stated correctly: “Gone are the days when a handful of Western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and manipulate global affairs.”

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