US President Donald Trump declared that he has postponed the exclusive summit of the world’s most advanced economies, a group of Seven (G7) which was scheduled to be held next month and was seeking opinions from other members to add more countries in the list of the group. Trump shared views that he hoped to hold the summit until September or later and expand the list of invitees to other countries that include Australia, Russia, South Korea, and India.
Trump’s Cancelation of G7 Summit
Trump told reporters on his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida that the G7, which represents the group of world’s wealthiest nations, was a “very outdated group of countries” in its current system especially its membership structure. He stressed, “I’m postponing it because I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world.”
While most European countries have not released their comments on Trump’s move, a spokesman for the German government stated that Berlin was “waiting for further information”. Trump’s cancellation of the meeting of the world’s major industrialized countries was considered to be a signal of Washington’s monopoly on the group decision.
According to the White House, Trump had initially canceled an in-person G7 meeting scheduled for March due to the pandemic spread but had recently sought to revive it and French President Emmanuel Macron backed the idea of an in-person meeting. However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to endorse it arguing that it involved health-related risks while German Chancellor Angela Merkel informed this week that she could not make it for the group’s meeting.
Trump’s Main Concerns: Russia and China
One key point for Trump’s proposal was to add more countries in the members of the G7 and on several previous occasions, he emphasized that Russia be included in the membership because of the position that he called Moscow’s global strategic importance. Nonetheless, it was yet unclear whether Trump hoped to expand the G7 membership permanently.
In 2014, Russia was expelled from what was then the G8 after Moscow annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine, the territory which is still under Russia’s control, after the then US President and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama along with other leaders opposed the annexation. Due to this, various G7 governments have already rebuffed previous calls from Trump to readmit Moscow.
White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said Trump would focus to discuss China at the summit since Pentagon had earlier criticized Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which was erupted in a Wuhan city in China late last year. On Friday, Trump ordered his administration to begin the process of curbing special US treatment for Hong Kong as a response to China’s decision to impose a new security law on the former British colony.
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