G7 powers mull over China | Sunday Observer
Sudan, Palestine in turmoil but:

G7 powers mull over China

28 May, 2023

Impoverished, war-ravaged Sudan is the newest killing field, and the Pacific islanders’ homes are drowning in the global sea level rise, but the world’s (currently) richest nations meeting in Hiroshima last week primarily fretted over their continued military and economic dominance.

Even the ongoing cruel antics on the streets of Jerusalem by Jewish supremacists did not divert the sushi-and-saké-fuelled confab in the shadows of Hiroshima’s nuclear ruins.

China was the focus of the club of leading capitalist economies, known as the Group of 7 or ‘G7’, at their annual summit meeting in the Japanese industrial city of Hiroshima last week.

Originally the sole such exclusive grouping of the world’s richest, most dominant states, the G7 club must now admit that it is no longer an exclusive one. There are other clubs of globally emerging economies, that bring together powerful economies, but more importantly, far larger national populations, vaster markets. These other groupings are emerging from what is now called the ‘Global South’.

China is actually very much in the lead in these Global South collaborations, as pointed out in these columns earlier. Equally potent, geopolitically, as the G7, is the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, which is largely the initiative of China. Wikipedia describes it as: “..an Eurasian political, economic, international security and defence organisation.

It is the world’s largest regional organisation in terms of geographic scope and population, covering approximately 60 percent of the area of Eurasia, 40 percent of the world population. Its combined GDP is around 20 percent of global GDP”.


The G7 originally brought together the USA, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Canada and Italy. When it begun in 1973, this club boasted over half of global economic value as well as a coordinated global military might, with only the Warsaw Pact’s nuclear deterrent preventing total Western hegemony.

The G7 is still the club of the world’s richest societies even though its combined population is just 10 per cent of the global population. But is not such minority dominance a basic element of all socially unequal societies since the dawn of ‘civilisation’?

Much has happened since the ‘oil shock’ given to the biggest fossil fuel consumer nations, that same G7, by OPEC’s unilateral fuel price fixing in 1973. Today the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been joined by other, new, non-First World, power camps.

In the near-half century since it began, the G7 has watched uneasily the rise of new, somewhat hybrid, systems of political-economy in which social democracy has been part of the foundations of capitalist development. True, some of the early stages of these parallel hybrid capitalist trajectories were reminiscent of the horrific poverty of early European capitalism chronicled by Charles Dickens.

Likewise, the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ very poignantly chronicles India’s recent climb to big powerdom.


China is currently the best example of this non-traditional capitalist trajectory, followed closely by India. Both Iraq and Iran may have followed suit if not for the ongoing machinations of a NATO that is determined to ensure its continued dominance in its neighbourhood, especially over its most accessible sources of oil and other industrially valuable minerals.

Meanwhile, Brazil and South Africa have emerged as the leading economic powers in their respective regions.

India has extended its economic advancement even further afield from its immediate region, very successfully diversifying both its exports as well as its investments into many parts of the global south.

Together with Russia and China, these five countries have formed the BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

According to Wikipedia, they were initially grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”) in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, who coined the term to describe these fast-growing economies that would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050.

The BRICS and SCO have already proven to the world that globalised capitalism, while initially entirely benefitting the former colonial power bloc, has enabled the rise of new power blocs as these other, very large, nations flex their hefty market muscle and technocratic brainpower.

NATO’s expansion eastwards is not merely to corner Russia. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is not just a military bloc. It is the military arm of the world’s currently dominant capitalist powers. The North Atlantic, at the end of World War 2, was the centre of global capitalism at that time.

Today, we have a globalised capitalism, with many regional centres. BRICS and SCO are already firmly established as inter-regional geopolitical alliances on par with the G7.

It is precisely to restrict the number of states that may be added on to these new alliances that NATO has over-reached to bring Ukraine and other east European states into the alliance. Otherwise, these former Warsaw Pact allies of Soviet Russia may have joined Russia in looking Asia-wards towards the new centres of economic power in Mumbai, Shanghai and beyond.

Further afield, there are emerging economic powers in Africa – Nigeria, Algeria – that may also wish to flex their own economic muscle by joining the new groupings. In Latin America: Venezuela, Chile and Argentina.


The challenge to the G7 today is not simply economic. The Hiroshima meeting essentially focused on geopolitical security. It is a ‘security’ seen as perpetuating the G7’s current global advantages of convenient access to essential mineral and agro-industrial resources on the one hand and, on the other, the maximum access to markets provided by an exploding world population.

If the previous G7 ‘summits’ were seen as summits of the world’s elite, in Hiroshima we see a gathering of just one of at least two global clubs, the other being the overlapping networks of SCO/BRICS. Such has been the changes in the world community.

The political realism theoretical approach to world affairs is now challenged to go beyond its current analytical frame of inter-state relations of self-interest.

Rather, this currently dominant analytical framework must now incorporate levels of collective trans-national interests, including global community interests. The UN itself, as well as the EU, are fascinating examples of trans-state collective interests in practise.

Sudan’s tragedy is not so much foreign intervention – itself a surprise in a world yet suffering from the hang-over of the old colonialism and, more recent neo-colonial invasions and machinations.

Rather, Sudan is an example of the legacy of the old European colonialism.

It is a territory of diverse nations and communities briefly held together in the colonial grip with that grip now congealed in an artificial ‘nation’. Already a good half of that nation-State has now gained independence as South Sudan.

Ironically, South Sudan is also a patchwork of tribal nations, some culturally compatible and other not. And South Sudan is also embroiled in inter-tribal conflict.


Sudan proper has become the victim of its own post colonial militarist culture with much dependence on violently coercive successive military regimes for State stability.

Two factions of the current military regime are fighting over the sharing of power. The one is the State armed forces and the other is a new paramilitary called the Rapid Support Force. This was formed by the previous dictator Army general President Omar al-Bashir as his personal armed force as a counter to the conventional armed forces.

Ironically, al-Bashir was deposed by the combined leaderships of the army and the RSF. But having taken over Sudan, this combined leadership are now fighting over sharing of power and access to State resources – mainly for their own upkeep.

According to reports from the region, the RSF, being lightly armed as a paramilitary force, is the weaker of the two and is likely to submit to a power sharing deal currently being negotiated between them in Riyadh under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian Government.


A ceasefire is on the cards. But Sudan, being one of Africa’s poorest societies and weakest economies, has suffered immensely not only in terms of direct human casualties from fighting and displacement. The long term effects of a devastated economic and social infrastructure will need decades for any national recovery.

In Israel-Palestine, things seem as usual under this extremist Jewish supremacist regime led by a Trump-like Benyamin Netanyahu. Cohorts of Jewish fundamentalists are marching up and down the streets of Jerusalem claiming that historic city, equally holy to three world religions, as solely the capital of Judaism.

Various Christian pilgrimage festivals have had to be postponed due to the unrest inside the ancient city itself. Just last week Israel celebrated what it calls it 75th anniversary of “independence”. This State was formed by European settlers in 1948 after militant Zionist insurgents violently forced an entire indigenous Palestinian population from its own homeland.

Worse, just much as the Boers tightened their grip on their colony by setting up the ‘Apartheid’ system, Israel has steadily imposed a similar system in its own ‘nation’ and in the adjoining militarily occupied Palestine territory. Palestine remains the last of such European colonial occupations.

At least in South Africa the African natives were not bodily expelled from their own land.

In Palestine, that mass expulsion began in 1948 and is still continuing 75 years later!