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The healing process of democracy begins at home

The democratic alliance is back. Also, its main goal is to confront China. These were the main headlines of Joe Biden a recent trip to Europe. The desire to revive US unity after the Trump administration is understandable. But the new goal carries risks.

Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University has written that “we don’t need the G7”. I do not agree. It is understandable that high-income democracies should align themselves with principles rather than mutual interests and shared resources. This is especially true while democracy in the economy and power is leaving the US and its allies, especially to China. (See the charts.)

China‚Äôs growth is the most important factor. This year, according to the IMF, it makes up 19% of the world’s total energy expenditure, up from 7% in 2000. Yet, globally, high-income democracies remain the global economic elite. The G7 nations make up 31% of the world’s highest-income democracies, collectively, 42% in 2021.

In trade, too, the G7 accounts for 31% of global sales and accounts for 36% of exports, as opposed to 15 and 12% in China, respectively. High-income Democrats make up 55% of exports and sell 57% of exports.

The richest Democrats are also the richest in the world at any rate, while China is only 75th. He lives in the home of the victors Most of the world’s leading companies, the world’s largest markets, leading universities as well as the most popular movies. The US also has the most powerful military force in the world. In addition, for all its shortcomings, the principle of democratic freedoms remains enticing to many around the world.

To have the same wealth as the political system, High-income democracies need to integrate legislation in areas such as economics, digital technology and competition. They must also defend their views, such as freedom of expression, against being harassed by others, especially from China.

G7 is declining and China is growing, but G7 is still growing, the share of global GDP, in terms of purchasing power supply and market prices (%)

In short, high-income democracies have their own likes and dislikes, and they can protect them, especially if they do things together. This is the essence of unity. But Sachs also has a point: telling the world what to do is wrong and impossible.

Like Stanford Ian Morris writes in his book of contention, War! What Are the Good?, “Europeans fought a five-hundred-year war in the world.” The latter did not forget. Decades since the fall of the Soviet Union have shattered trust in the Western powers, which has led to the absurdity of the “terrible war”, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the global economic crisis, the UK’s exit from the EU and the Donald Trump election. The G7 talks speak of a shared commitment to “globalization, globalization and an open, resilient, law-abiding system”. Today, this brings out the ridiculous laughter. Biden hopes Trump is disappointed. Alas, he may return.

If the new democratic alliance is to be rich, it needs to be cohesive and clear. This is missing, especially in the global vaccination campaign against Covid-19. The program of G7 he realizes that “ending the epidemic by 2022 will require vaccination of at least 60% of the world’s population”. This could mean at least 9.4bn Doses. But it offered to share 870m next year. “Since the epidemic, we have made $ 8.6bn,” he said. . . Funding for vaccinations, including $ 1.9bn since we last met in February. This gives an amount equal to the amount of 1bn. “In any case, he will give you 2bn. More will be needed.

Developing countries still dominate global trade, Global trade share (including EU trade,%)

However the G7 also said it had spent more than $ 12tn helping its citizens and their businesses. It must have been obvious, given the high cost of Covid results, that the G7 is responsible for paying for it IMF plan to strike the world by 2022 at a cost of $ 50bn.

This is really stupid. But there are also long-term risks to the new treaty against China. High-income democracies have a right to be determined to defend their values. But the biggest threat is not from China, but from closer to home. I fail to ensure that more people prosper and defend the principles of democracy which are so important. Unfortunately, it has been our elect, not the Chinese, who have ruined this. In the meantime, we must recognize the great need for global cooperation in maintaining peace and protecting people from global threats, such as plagues and natural disasters.

More importantly, nothing can drive the Chinese people even into the hands of their communist regimes other than the perpetual persecution of democracies. Over time, relying on our principles of openness and freedom is possible to change China. Of course, democracies need to protect the interests of the economy and its ideals. But they should also be as open to business and ideas as possible. Sanctions do not change China. Only Chinese people can do this. The West should give them a reason to wish.

The US and its allies use military spending, but China is on the rise, military spending ($ bn at fixed rates in 2019 and exchange rates)

It is good to see a new re-emergence of the western alliance. But high-income democracies should avoid dangerous traps. If they are going to lead, they need more cohesive ideas than they showed in the G7. In addition, they need to avoid serious conflicts with China. Whether you like it or not, cooperation is important to humanity. Over time, most of all, high-income democracies have to look inside if they are to save themselves. Something else is not at stake in our desires and thoughts: we have met the enemy and it is us.

martin.wolf@ft.com

Follow Martin Wolf and myFT and beyond Twitter




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