“The Last G-7” shows the U.S. and other G-7 nations depicted as animals bustling over a table where toxic wine and a China-shaped cake are being served. India and Australia, regional rivals of China, are also present, as an elephant and kangaroo.
“Through this, we can still rule the world,” the caption reads.
The Global Times, an English-language newspaper with ties to China’s ruling Communist Party, reported that the image went viral on China’s Weibo social media platform as the G-7 summit kicked off in the United Kingdom over the weekend.
“This G-7 summit is widely seen as an attempt by the U.S. to rally allies against China,” the report claimed – adding that the depiction of a bald eagle “shows today’s aggressive yet feeble U.S. is trapped in its growing debt crisis and racial conflicts.”
The state-linked newspaper highlighted the satirical artwork as China’s foreign ministry was hotly disputing the G-7’s joint communique criticizing some of Beijing’s international behavior.
“The CCP believes their system of government is superior to the liberal democracies,” explained retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, an expert on U.S.-China relations at the Hudson Institute. “This reinforces that idea for its population while also showing what’s wrong with the free world.”
By the end of the summit Sunday, the G-7 leaders had agreed to challenge Beijing’s “non-market economic practices” and call out the Communist Party on its alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
“With regard to China, and competition in the global economy, we will continue to consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy,” the leaders of the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan said in a joint communique at the end of the conference.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said during his daily news briefing Tuesday that the communique “seriously contravenes the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter.”
“The era of one country or a bloc of countries dictating world affairs is over,” he declared. “The U.S. is ill, very ill indeed. We’d like to advise the G-7 to take its pulse and come up with a prescription for the U.S.”
In addition to alleged human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, aggression in the South China Sea and toward Taiwan, Beijing has also been accused of subsidizing industries to operate below cost and destabilize Western competitors and performing dangerous space launches without concern for controlled reentry of spent rocket stages, allowing debris to fall haphazardly back to the surface.
Investigators are also taking a more serious look at whether lax security protocols as the Wuhan Institute of Virology led to an accidental leak of the coronavirus and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, the mocking imagery may have missed the mark. After the events of the biblical Last Supper, Christianity grew from a small group of devout followers to one of the largest and most enduring faiths in history. That’s why Leonardo da Vinci painted it.
His Renaissance mural depicts the moment Jesus told his Twelve Apostles that one of them would betray him in the Gospel of John, days before his crucifixion – and resurrection.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.