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China feels heat on Covid19: G-7 and India stress on 'reforming' global health mechanism

WebdeskJun 14, 2021, 12:24 PM IST

China feels heat on Covid19: G-7 and India stress on 'reforming' global health mechanism

New Delhi: China certainly is irked these days. It is displeased at the manner the G-7 grouping and some others are trying to build a system to corner Beijing. The Indian leadership is also raising 'Chinese aggressive' postures in various international fora.

 

Beijing is also irked as India has in recent months grown closer to the influential G-7 grouping that has countries like the United States, Japan, Germany and France.

 

The leaders of influential grouping G-7 and guest countries including India at the Summit meeting in England had a very "intense and detailed discussions" on the need for reforming the global health governance.

 

This was stated by P Harish, Additional Secretary Economic Relations in the MEA, at a special media briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's participation at the G-7 Summit on 'Building Back Stronger - Health’.

 

He was answering a specific question on whether the G-7 leaders and the guest country leaders discussed the need for a "fresh probe" into the origin of Covid19.

 

"I would like to emphasise in this regard that India has been actively engaged with the international community at the levels of G-20, G-7 and the World Health Assembly on various aspects related to the current pandemic, learning lessons and preparing for future pandemics," Mr Harish told reporters.

 

The senior foreign ministry official was also asked whether the issue of vexed 'Chinese aggressiveness" was raised by Prime Minister Modi at the meeting. To this Harish responded saying: "The Prime Minister's participation covered three broad tracks – first global health vaccines and recovery from Covid19, second, climate change and third - open societies and open economies. PM Modi spoke on the need for open and democratic societies to work together and strengthen each other's hands to defend the values".

 

He went on to add, "The particular issue (Chinese aggressiveness) was not raised in this meeting. But you know there are other fora where such issues are also being discussed".

 

The G-7 leaders at the instance of US President Joe Biden backed a vast global infrastructure project plan for the developing and emerging countries as a counter to the Chinese “Belt and Road” project.

 

The Biden administration has also pushed a new initiative - ‘Build Back Better World'.

 

The United Kingdom holds the presidency and had invited India, along with Australia, South Korea and South Africa, as guest countries for this year's Summit.

 

China has not been quite happy with the India-G7 bonhomie. Beijing is also irked by an effort by leading countries to isolate and put pressure on China.

 

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London said, “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone. We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries".

 

The 'small group' phrase is in reference to the G-7 grouping comprising the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan.

 

For the Modi government, greater engagements with G-7 are seen as opportunities and opening up a new vista to expand the global dimension of India’s growing partnerships with the US, Europe and countries like Japan, and even Australia and South Africa.

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