Values matterPresident Moon Jae-in attends the G7 Summit in London from Friday through Sunday. Though not a member of the Group of 7 countries, Korea received a special invitation from the organizer along with Australia, India and South Africa. Korea’s invitation to the exclusive club owes to its international status as the 10th largest economy in the world. President Moon must not forget the country’s elevated stature on the global stage.
Though it is an annual event, the G7 Summit this year carries special meaning because it is the first face-to-face meeting of global leaders after the breakout of the pandemic last year. The 2020 Summit, which was supposed to be held in the United States, was canceled and a virtual G20 Summit was held instead. The fact that the London G7 Summit is being held amid the pandemic shows the need for such a gathering of heads of state.
The primary goal of the summit on Friday is finding effective ways for leaders of democratic states to jointly react to China’s rise and the deepening Sino-U.S. rivalry on global affairs. U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to forge a united front among 10 major democracies of the world, including Korea, Australia and India. This time, South Africa was added to the list. The Biden administration is leading a multilateral coalition of democracies after defining China as a serious threat to an open international system.
The second session of the G7 Summit is focused on achieving an open society and economy. The Blue House explained that the session will discuss ways to strengthen cooperation among countries with similar positions to protect their core values. Ahead of the G7 Summit, the White House released a report on how to build supply networks in four key areas such as semiconductors, batteries, rare earth elements and pharmaceuticals.
An answer to what position and principles our president must profess in the summit lies in the joint statement Moon and Biden issued after their summit in the White House on May 21. The statement made it clear that Korea and the United States are opposed to all types of behavior undermining, destabilizing or threatening the norms-based international order. Moon pledged to play a leading role in realigning global supply networks. Given lingering doubts about the sincerity of his remarks, Moon must clear away all such suspicions.
The international order is riding a gargantuan wave of change. If a leader makes a mistake, it could lead to a national crisis. The Sino-U.S. contest involves both power and values. We urge Moon to demonstrate his own values — and ours.