What is the E7? The Emerging 7 (E7) consists of the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China plus Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. Unlike the Group of 7 (G7), the E7 is not an actual forum nor alliance, but merely a concept created by economists John Hawksworth and Gordon Cookson in 2006 to highlight the economic potential of emerging countries versus advanced economies. In comparison, the G7 was created in 1973 and includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, while the European Union is also represented. What is a global minimum tax, and how will it work? Invitations were also extended to India, Australia, South Africa and South Korea at the most recent summit held in Britain in June. Some economists have suggested that more attention should be paid to the E7, whose growth rates have exceeded that of the G7 over the past two decades. How does the E7 compare with the G7 in economic terms? In 1995, the E7 was half the size of the G7 in economic terms, but by 2015, the E7 was around the same size as the G7. By 2040, the E7 could be double the size of the G7, according to PwC. Six of the seven largest economies in the world may be emerging economies in 2050. While the International Monetary Fund estimated that three G7 members were among the world’s top seven economies in 2016, PwC predicts that only the US will remain on the list by 2050. China is expected to lead the rankings and account for 20 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity, followed by India, the US, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Mexico. Vietnam, the Philippines and Nigeria are expected to experience the greatest improvement in their ranking. However, in terms of GDP per capita, China is expected to remain third in 2050, as it was in 2016, meaning the income gap between G7 and E7 countries is likely to prevail. How is the G7 perceived in China? The purpose and intention of the G7 has been increasingly questioned by the Chinese public amid rising tensions with its member states. As the G7 summit in Cornwall in June sought to unify the West’s stand against China on various issues, some netizens said that the G7 is reminiscent of the Eight-Nation Alliance – a military coalition that invaded northern China in 1900. Popular digital artist Bantonglaoatang in June created a satirical cartoon critiquing the event. The cartoon, which went viral on social media, was based on The Last Supper Renaissance painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. In the cartoon, Jesus and the 12 apostles are replaced by animals representing the US, UK, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Australia and India sitting around a table with a cake representing China. It is also often noted by Chinese netizens that non-Western countries should not be excluded nor minimised in global conversations. They point out that there are more UN member states that back China on controversial issues than those that condemn it, including over contentious matters related to alleged human rights abuse in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Is the G7 really a united front against China? Not all G7 members advocate for a hostile attitude towards China. France, Italy and Germany, in particular, “disagree with taking China as an enemy”, according to Song Luzheng, an international relations researcher at Fudan University. “It’s very important that we don’t scatter ourselves and that we don’t bias our relationship with China,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during the G7 summit earlier this year. Italy, which in 2019 became the first G7 nation to sign up to China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative, has maintained lukewarm relations with China. During recent high-level talks between the two countries, they committed to practicing multilateralism and jointly coping with global challenges. Germany’s amicable relationship with China may change, as Chancellor Angela Merkel retires next month and the Green Party, which has criticised the incumbent for being too soft on China, will take charge of the foreign ministry. What is the relationship between China and the other E7 countries? Relations between China and India have been tense amid aggressive border skirmishes. India has also banned almost 200 Chinese apps, including widely used social media platforms WeChat, TikTok and Sina Weibo, citing security concerns. They signed an agreement with the US last year to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. China-Indonesia relations have been largely stable and positive since the 1990s. However, increased military cooperation with the US amid its tensions with China has raised concerns. Jakarta received around US$45 million from Washington to finance its military between 2016 and 2020, and a further US$3.5 million for a new maritime training centre, amid the US’s ongoing battle with China for influence in Southeast Asia. On the other hand, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Mexico have all increased economic cooperation with China. Russia, in particular, has stepped up its military cooperation with China. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in a recent meeting agreed to expand cooperation through strategic exercises and joint patrols in the Asia-Pacific, according to Russia’s Ministry of Defence.