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The 47th G7 Summit on Internet curbs and China

Context:

Recently, the Indian Prime Minister addressed the 47th G7 Summit 2021 through video conferencing.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (Important International Groupings, Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)

Click Here to read more about the G7 group and G7 Summit

Click Here to read more about the new G7 recommendation on minimum corporate tax rate

Highlights of the 47th G7 Summit 2021

Earlier, the Finance Ministers from the G7 nations reached a landmark accord setting a Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate (GMCTR).

Apart from India, Australia and South Korea were also invited to participate in the proceedings of the summit as “guest countries”.

This year’s summit was hosted by the UK. The last G-7 summit was in France in 2019, with last year’s event in the US canceled due to the pandemic.

Build Back Better for the World Project

The Build Back Better for the World Project  is aimed squarely at competing with China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, which has been widely criticised for saddling small countries with unmanageable debt but has included even G7 member Italy since launching in 2013.

It will collectively catalyse hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries (in Asia and Africa) and offer a values-driven, high-standard and transparent partnership with G7.

Democracies 11

Signed off on a joint statement (Democracies 11) by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression.

The statement also refers to politically motivated internet shutdowns as one of the threats to freedom and democracy.

While the statement is directed at China and Russia, India has been under scrutiny over Internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Government is locked in a face-off over its New IT rules 2021 with tech giants.

Democracies 11 is facing threats to freedom and democracy from rising authoritarianism, electoral interference, corruption, economic coercion, manipulation of information, including disinformation, online harms and cyber attacks, politically motivated internet shutdowns, human rights violations and abuses, terrorism and violent extremism.

Carbis Bay Declaration

The G7 signed the Carbis Bay Declaration. It is aimed at preventing future pandemics.

The G7 also pledged over 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses for poorer nations with half of that coming from the United States and 100 million from Britain.

Climate Change

Renewed a pledge to raise their contributions to meet an overdue spending pledge of USD 100 billion a year to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions.

Promised to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

Pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Against China

The G-7 statement which was not signed by India and other outreach countries hit out at China on “human rights and fundamental freedoms” in Xinjiang (Uyghur Muslims) and Hong Kong, and the unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea.

It also called for a transparent and timely World Health Organization’s Covid origins study in China.

India had also called for the same in a statement during the World Health Assembly.

On Internet shutdowns

Internet freedoms are subject to national security, said government sources, claiming that India’s tough negotiations on the joint communique issued by G7 and Guest Countries at the session on Open Societies, had ensured that the original language criticising “Internet shutdowns” had been amended to include New Delhi’s concerns.

The explanation came after the ‘G7 and Guest Countries: 2021 Open Societies Statement’ referred to “politically motivated Internet shutdowns” which indirectly addresses Internet blackouts in various parts of the world including India.

-Source: The Hindu

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