The G7 issued its strongest condemnation of China as the world’s most advanced economies stepped up their response to what they called increasing military and economic security threats posed by Beijing.
The G7 criticized China over everything from its militarization of the South China Sea to its use of “economic coercion”, and urged Beijing to force Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
The G7 members said they were “gravely concerned” about events in the East and South China Seas, and strongly opposed “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo through force or coercion”. They also called for a “peaceful solution” to tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
The group stressed that it was “willing to build constructive and stable relations” with Beijing, but acknowledged the importance of “engaging candidly”. . . and express our concerns directly to China”.
The statement is the strongest criticism of Beijing by the G7. At the three-day summit in Hiroshima, the US and its democratic allies seek to project a united front in the face of global divisions caused by the war in Ukraine, the US-China dispute, climate change and the expansion of artificial intelligence .
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy landed in Hiroshima on Saturday, ahead of his participation in Sunday’s sessions devoted to the war in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy, whose attendance was kept secret until shortly before his arrival, wrote on Twitter: “Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will come closer today.”
A Ukrainian official who traveled with Zelenskyy told the Financial Times that the main Ukrainian goals at the summit were to gain support for Kiev’s peace plan, secure greater military aid and cooperation, convince allies to lift sanctions against Russia to step up and discuss further measures to keep. Moscow liable.
Downing Street said it would start training Ukrainian pilots “this summer” after the US gave the green light for the transfer of jets from countries including the Netherlands to the administration in Kiev.
Britain has pledged to deliver a “basic programme” of jet pilot training for Ukrainians, although they will need further advanced lessons.
“Obviously there will need to be further training in relation to F16s, specifically, which the UK doesn’t have as a capability,” a Number 10 spokesman said.
On Saturday evening, Zelenskyy held bilateral meetings with Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom, India’s Narendra Modi, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and France’s Emmanuel Macron.
Macron described the decision by the Ukrainian leader to attend the summit as “a game-changer”.
Zelenskyy invited Modi, whose country has significantly expanded its purchases of Russian oil over the past 16 months and remained on UN votes to condemn the invasion, to back Kyiv’s peace proposal, thanking him for providing humanitarian aid , his office said.
The increasingly tough stance on Beijing comes after two years of the US and Japan working with the other G7 countries to strike a tougher tone against China’s military activities around Taiwan and its use of economic pressure.
The leaders of Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the US and the UK also warned of “increased uncertainty about the global economic outlook”, pledging to remain vigilant and flexible in their macroeconomic policies as global inflationary pressures continue
On economic policy towards Beijing, the G7 said its approach was “not designed to harm China” nor “to hinder China’s economic progress and development”. Member countries said the group was not interested in decoupling from China and was merely involved in “de-risking”.
But they said they would tackle “challenges posed by China’s non-market policies and practices that distort the global economy” and “promote resilience against economic coercion”.
In a separate statement, the G7 said the world had seen a “disturbing increase in incidents of economic coercion”. It said they would create a mechanism to “increase our collective assessment, preparedness, deterrence and response to economic coercion” and would seek coordination to detect and respond to economic coercion.
China’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday: “The G7 talks about the pursuit of a peaceful, stable and prosperous world [while] actually do things that undermine world peace and regional stability and suppress other countries’ development.”
Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied with this”, the ministry said. Taiwan and Hong Kong were domestic affairs and China opposed any external interference, he added, accusing the US of “economic coercion”.
The ministry urged the G7 countries to “stop containing and oppressing other countries . . .[and]create and provoke confusion” and to resume “dialogue and cooperation”.
On climate policy, the leaders agreed that, given the exceptional impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine, “publicly supported investment in the gas sector may be appropriate as a temporary response”, in a win for Germany.
Berlin pushed for such a ratification despite opposition from countries including the UK and France, which said it undermined the G7’s aim to move away from fossil fuels.
Regarding the rapidly developing artificial intelligence industry, the leaders agreed to “commit to further promoting multi-stakeholder approaches to the development of standards for AI” and to develop international standards for the sector.
Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding in Beijing
Leave a Reply