The G7 on Saturday unveiled US-led plans to counter China in infrastructure funding for poorer nations, and a new accord to prevent future pandemics, as the elite group sought to showcase Western unity at its first in-person summit since 2019.
Promising to "collectively catalyse" hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries, the G7 leaders said they would offer a "values-driven, high-standard and transparent" partnership.
The White House said President Joe Biden and fellow leaders addressed "strategic competition" with Beijing on the second day of their three-day summit in Carbis Bay, southwest England.
The collective steps include slashing the time taken to develop and license vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for any future disease to under 100 days, while reinforcing global surveillance networks.
– 'Fundamental problems' –
"Under this agreement, the world's leading democracies will commit to preventing a global pandemic from ever happening again, ensuring the devastation caused by Covid-19 is never repeated," he said.
And he said the UN agency would examine a British proposal to create a "Global Pandemic Radar" to send early warnings of future outbreaks.
The G7 leaders are expected to pledge to donate one billion vaccine doses to poor countries this year and next — although campaigners say the rollout is much too slow to end the crisis sooner.
– 'Concrete action' –
They were joined by the leaders of Australia, South Africa and South Korea, with India taking part remotely.
"This is not just about confronting or taking on China," a senior White House official said. "This is about providing an affirmative, positive alternative vision for the world."
China denies allegations that it is waging "genocide" by forcing up to one million Uyghurs and people from other ethnic-Turkic minorities into internment camps in the region of Xinjiang.
The US president will also seek to address frayed relations with Moscow, in particular over its cyber activity.
In a rare interview with US media released Friday, Putin voiced hope that Biden would be less impetuous than Donald Trump, who infamously sided with the Russian leader against the views of his own intelligence chiefs.
Closer to home for the G7 hosts, Johnson came under concerted pressure in separate meetings with the leaders of France, Germany and the European Union to respect his Brexit commitments over Northern Ireland.
Stressing the UK is a unified territory encompassing Northern Ireland, he told Sky News that "they just need to get that into their heads".
Originally published as G7 leaders take on China and plan to stop new pandemics