Approximately 80% of the world's population, comprising the group of "developing" and "rising" countries, held a Summit in Havana, the capital of Cuba, on September 15-16, with a call to "change the rules of the global order." The G77+China, currently consisting of 134 countries, represents two-thirds of the United Nations. China plays a significant role within the G-77, although it is not an official member.
The G-77 was established in 1964 by 77 countries representing the impoverished "Global South" in opposition to the Western-centered "Rich North." Holding the G77+China Summit in Cuba, a country that has lived under the "American blockade" for over 60 years, sends a powerful message. The Summit highlights the challenges faced by developing countries and advocates for the necessity of a "new global economic order."
The G77+China represents a reflection of disillusionment with the current world order controlled by the West. Miguel Diaz-Canel, the President of Cuba and current chair of the G77+China, emphasized during the Summit's opening speech, "After so many years of the North arranging the world according to its interests, changing the rules of the game is now in the hands of the South." Diaz-Canel also pointed out that developing countries are the primary victims of the multifaceted crisis in the world, from "exploitative unequal trade" to "global warming."
Both the BRICS Summit and the G77+China Summit reflect the main idea of restructuring the crumbling Western-centered, hegemonic, and unequal global system within a "multilateral" or "multipolar" framework. The deepening relations between China, the world's second-largest economy after the United States, and the "Global South" are causing concern in the United States.
In a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Havana Summit, it was emphasized that the G77+China mechanism supports international justice and equity, and it protects the common rights and interests of developing countries. The statement expressed the expectation that the Summit would contribute positively to greater solidarity among developing countries, closer cooperation, and joint responses to challenges.
The perception that China will surpass the United States in the near future has a profound impact on the United States' hegemonic global policies. The United States argues that China seeks to change the established rules of the liberal international order. Based on this argument, the United States is pursuing a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy to stop and control China's rise. American hawks opposed to China claim that China is nearing military parity with the United States and advocate for the Defense Budget to include more of the Asia-Pacific region.
In my article dated September 5th titled "Is the Chinese Army Stronger?", I mentioned the statements of the US Secretary (or Minister) of the Air Force, Frank Kendall. Kendall, who previously held senior positions in defense companies, had argued that the US military was not adequately prepared for a war with China. Shortly after taking office in 2021, during a meeting in the US Congress, he responded to a Senator's question about his priorities as the Secretary of the Air Force with "I have three answers, China, China, and China."
Kendall is not the only hawk who sees China as a threat to Washington's global military dominance. Similar statements are coming from military commanders who lead other top branches of the military. Likewise, Kendall, in a speech at the Air and Space Forces Association on September 11, 2023, warned that the US military might not be prepared for a future war with China due to spending too much time on 'counterterrorism.'
According to Kendall, China has been restructuring its forces for over two decades to gain superiority over the United States in the Western Pacific and for great power competition. He claimed that China had specifically designed military capabilities for the possibility of countering the United States.
In short, Kendall advocates for comprehensive modernization of the American military against China. These statements from the Secretary of the Air Force are noteworthy at a time when the Biden Administration is attempting dialogues with Beijing at the "President-to-President" and "Soldier-to-Soldier" levels. On the other hand, the recent US efforts to expand its military footprint in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly on China's doorstep in Taiwan, are developments that poison bilateral relations from Beijing's perspective.