G7: U.S. calls on allies to follow its lead in containing China
Leaders of the strongest democracies have agreed on creating a new investment plan to fight back Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, the plan is entitled “Build Back Better” and aims to create a new net of infrastructure to assist growth in underdeveloped nations.
Many believe that this move might help Washington to reduce or slow the rise of China which is seen as a direct threat to the U.S.-led international order. China has grown consistently over the last forty years becoming the second biggest economy in the world and aiming for the first place.
G7: China’s Response
China denounced the G7 meeting held in Cornwall, citing it as a means to attack Chinese interests and stating that the unified declaration of Monday would be a gross interference with Beijing’s internal affairs.
China declared that in a period of global recession and in the middle of a pandemic, the world needs cooperation between international actors rather than cliquey power politics sowing divisions. The spokesperson in Beijing’s embassy in London said the conference revealed “the sinister intentions of a few countries such as the United States”.
Shifting Focus, NATO Views China as a Global Security Challenge
During the NATO meeting on Monday, the 30-nation organization warned that China is posing considerable global security “challenges”. According to Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, China has the second-largest military budget after the United States and the world’s largest navy.
China responded to NATO saying that they “slandered” China’s peaceful development, misjudged the international situation, and indicated a “Cold War mentality.” Adding that: “China will not pose a ‘systemic challenge’ to anyone, but if anyone wants to pose a systemic challenge to us, we will not remain indifferent”.
The NATO statement also promised to “engage China with a view to defending the security interests of the alliance” and vowed to maintain a “constructive dialogue with China” on issues such as climate change.
Sources: The New York Times, Reuters, EUobserver
June 15, 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of SCO’s birth
On June 15, 2001 Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan signed the “Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization” in Shanghai, and a comprehensive regional organization with extensive influence in Eurasia was born: SCO.
Over the past 20 years, following the “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and seeking common development, the SCO cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results. This regional organization with great potential is increasingly becoming an important constructive force in Eurasian regional and international affairs.
Source: 新华 (Original in Chinese)
89.14 million trips have been made during the Dragon Boat Festival, recovering to 98.7% of pre-pandemic levels
June 14th, 2021 marked the fifth day of the fifth month in the traditional Chinese calendar — a yearly celebration known as Duanwu in China and the Dragon Boat Festival in the West. It is a tradition dating back more than 2,000 years and an important annual event in China.
Chinese travelers made more than 89 million trips during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holidays, celebrated from Saturday to Monday, an increase of 94.1 percent year-on-year with a recovery of about 98.7 percent of pre-pandemic levels, according to data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) on Monday.
Source: Global Times
Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship launched in northwest China on Thursday
On Thursday, June 17 a rocket carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft with three Chinese astronauts on board has blasted off from China’s Inner Mongolia in a historic launch that is critical for the completion of the country’s own space station.
Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo will carry out the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceflight mission, and Nie will be the commander.
The mission is China’s first crewed space mission since 2016. Blaine Curcio, a Hong Kong-based space industry analyst, says: “The launch will be a big moment for the Chinese space program”.
Sources: 人民日报 (original in Chinese), Sixth Tone, CGTN