To blunt China’s growing influence with nonaligned emerging economies, the Group of Seven has been stepping up efforts to support these countries — mainly in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific — in areas such as infrastructure and climate change.

But while mutually beneficial, these initiatives, including those announced at the recent G7 Hiroshima summit, are unlikely to persuade most “Global South” nations to curb ties with Beijing or switch sides, according to former Singaporean diplomat and ex-U.N. Security Council (UNSC) President Kishore Mahbubani.

“The United States is very keen to rally as many countries as possible to join its side against Beijing, but it is also gradually realizing how difficult it is to isolate China,” Mahbubani said in an exclusive interview, noting that — despite Washington’s containment efforts — Beijing’s trade with the rest of the world keeps growing, including with U.S. allies and partners.