By Pepe Escobar
June 10, 2021 "Information
Clearing House" - - "Asia
Times" - The upcoming G7
in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky
encounter of “America is Back” with “Global
The Big Picture though is way more sensitive.
Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will
be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger:
the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva – which certainly
won’t be a reset.
The controlling interests behind the hologram
that goes by the name of “Joe Biden” have a clear
overarching agenda: to regiment industrialized
democracies – especially those in Europe – and keep
them in lockstep to combat those “authoritarian”
threats to US national security, “malignant” Russia
It’s like a throwback to those oh so stable 1970s
Cold War days, complete with James Bond fighting
foreign devils and Deep Purple subverting communism.
Well, the times they are-a-changin’. China is very
much aware that now
the Global South “accounts for almost two-thirds
of the global economy compared to one-third by the
West: in the 1970s, it was exactly the opposite.”
For the Global South – that is, the overwhelming
majority of the planet – the G7 is largely
irrelevant. What matters is the G20.
China, the rising economic superpower, hails from
the Global South, and is a leader in the G20. For
all their internal troubles, EU players in the G7 –
Germany, France and Italy – cannot afford to
antagonize Beijing in economic, trade and investment
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A G7 rebooted as a Sinophobic crusade will have
no takers. Including Japan and special guests at
Cornwall: tech powerhouse South Korea, and India and
South Africa (both BRICS members), offered the
dangling carrot of a possible extended membership.
Washington’s wishful thinking cum P.R. offensive
boils down to selling itself as the primus inter
pares of the West as a revitalized global leader.
Why the Global South is not buying it can be
observed, graphically, by what happened for the past
eight years. The G7 – and especially the Americans –
could not respond to China’s wide-ranging,
pan-Eurasian trade/development strategy, the Belt
and Road Initiative (BRI).
The American “strategy” so far – 24/7
demonization of BRI as a “debt trap” and “forced
labor” machine – did not cut it. Now, too little too
late, comes a G7 scheme, involving “partners” such
as India, to “support”, at least in theory, vague
“high-quality projects” across the Global South:
Clean Green Initiative , focused on sustainable
development and green transition, to be discussed
both at the G7 and the US-EU summits.
Compared to BRI, Clean Green Initiative hardly
qualifies as a coherent geopolitical and geoeconomic
strategy. BRI has been endorsed and partnered by
over 150 nation-states and international bodies –
and that includes more than half of the EU’s 27
Facts on the ground tell the story. China and
ASEAN are about to strike a “comprehensive strategic
partnership” deal. Trade between China and the
Central and Eastern European Countries (CCEC), also
known as the 17+1 group, including 12 EU nations,
continues to increase. The Digital Silk Road,
the Health Silk Road and the Polar Silk Road keep
So what’s left is loud Western rumbling about
vague investments in digital technology – perhaps
financed by the European Investment Bank, based in
Luxembourg – to cut off China’s “authoritarian
reach” across the Global South.
The EU-US summit may be launching a “Trade and
Technology Council” to coordinate policies on 5G,
semiconductors, supply chains, export controls and
technology rules and standards. A gentle reminder:
the EU-US simply do not control this complex
environment. They badly need South Korea, Taiwan and
Wait a minute, Mr. Taxman
To be fair, the G7 may have rendered a public
service to the whole world when their Finance
Ministers struck an alleged “historic” deal last
Saturday in London on a global, minimal 15% tax on
multinational companies (MNCs).
Triumphalism was in order – with endless praise
lavished on “justice” and “fiscal solidarity”
coupled with really bad news for assorted fiscal
Well, that’s slightly more complicated.
This tax has been discussed at the highest levels
of the OECD in Paris for over a decade now –
especially because nation-states are
losing at least $427 billion a year in
tax-dodging by MNCs and assorted multi-billionaires.
In terms of the European scenario that does not even
account for the loss of V.A.T. by fraud – something
gleefully practiced by Amazon, among others.
So it’s no wonder G7 Finance Ministers had $1.6
pretty much on their sights. Amazon’s cloud
computing division should be treated as a separate
entity. In this case the mega-tech group will have
to pay more corporate tax in some of its largest
European markets – Germany, France, Italy, UK – if
the global 15% tax is ratified.
So yes, this is mostly about Big Tech – master
experts on fiscal fraud and profiting from tax
paradises located even inside Europe, such as
Ireland and Luxembourg. The way the EU was built, it
allowed fiscal competition between nation-states to
fester. To discuss this openly in Brussels remains a
virtual taboo. In the official EU list of fiscal
paradises, one won’t find Luxembourg, the
Netherlands or Malta.
So could this all be just a P.R. coup? It’s
possible. The major problem is that at the European
Council – where governments of EU member-states
discuss their issues – they have been dragging their
feet for a long time, and sort of delegated the
whole thing to the OECD.
As it stands, details on the 15% tax are still
vague – even as the US government stands to become
the largest winner, because its MNCs have shifted
massive profits all across the planet to avoid US
Not to mention that nobody knows if, when and how
the deal will be globally accepted and implemented:
that will be a Sisyphean task. At least it will be
discussed, again, at the G20 in Venice in July.
What Germany wants
Without Germany there would not have been real
advance on the EU-China Investment Agreement late
last year. With a new US administration, the deal is
stalled again. Outgoing chancellor Merkel is against
China-EU economic decoupling – and so are German
industrialists. It will be quite a treat to watch
this subplot at the G7.
In a nutshell: Germany wants to keep expanding as
a global trading power by using its large industrial
base, while the Anglo-Saxons have completely ditched
their industrial base to embrace non-productive
financialization. And China for its part wants to
trade with the whole planet. Guess who’s the odd
Considering the G7 as a de facto gathering of the
Hegemon with its hyenas, jackals and chihuahuas, it
will also be quite a treat to watch the semantics.
What degree of “existential threat” will be ascribed
to Beijing – especially because for the interests
behind the hologram “Biden” the real priority is the
These interests could not give a damn about a EU
yearning for more strategic autonomy. Washington
always announces its diktats without even bothering
to previously consult Brussels.
So this is what this Triple X of summits – G7,
NATO and EU-US – will be all about: the Hegemon
pulling all stops to contain/harass the emergence of
a rising power by enlisting its satrapies to “fight”
and thus preserve the “rules-based international
order” it designed over seven decades ago.
History tells uss it won’t work. Just two
examples: the British and French empires could not
stop the rise of the US in the 19th
century; and even better, the Anglo-American axis
only stopped the simultaneous rise of Germany and
Japan by paying the price of two world wars, with
the British empire destroyed and Germany back again
as the leading power in Europe.
That should give the meeting of “America is Back”
and “Global Britain” in Cornwall the status of a
mere, quirky historical footnote.
Escobar is correspondent-at-large at
His latest book is
2030. Follow him on
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