The Group of 7 aims to project unity in Japan amid a wide range of global issues


World leaders gathered in Japan will try to project unity on China in meetings on Saturday, even as differences persist between the United States and Europe over how to deal with growing military and economic aggression from China. Beijing.

It was one of many issues that took center stage during the Group of 7 talks over the weekend, which resulted in a dramatic jolt with the news that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would address leaders in person on Sunday. The Japanese government, official host of the G7, confirmed the presence of Zelensky in person on Saturday. The White House said President Joe Biden looks forward to meeting Zelensky in person, their first face-to-face since Biden’s visit to Kyiv in February.

His presence underscores the pressing need to maintain Western unity in the face of Russian aggression. There are growing fears that political support for Ukraine is waning, giving urgency to Zelensky’s calls for more advanced weapons and tougher sanctions against Russia.

At G7 meetings on Friday, Biden told his counterparts he was dropping his objections to supplying Ukrainians with F16 fighter jets and would train Ukrainian pilots in the United States, a major step forward in military support American in the country.

Biden is expected to unveil a $375 million military aid package for Ukraine after the summit hears from Zelensky, officials familiar with the matter said, but the leaders face a wide range of issues beyond that. from the war-torn country during their talks, including climate change and new artificial intelligence technologies.

The China issue has also taken on new importance as Beijing steps up its military provocations around Taiwan and the South China Sea.

After a number of working sessions on Saturday, the leaders will issue a statement outlining a “common China approach”, according to a senior US administration official, speaking ahead of the talks.

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said the statement would list “key elements that all G7 countries are aligned with when it comes to dealing with” China. He said the language would be simple and non-hostile, and said nothing in the document should come as a surprise to Beijing.

Biden aides said they hoped to come out of the summit this week having united America’s allies around a broad approach from Beijing, while acknowledging that each country will deal with China in its own way.

This is an area where there are significant differences. For example, French President Emmanuel Macron said last month that Europe should not follow the United States into war against China. And many European countries are reluctant to reduce economic ties with Beijing.

Still, Biden and his fellow leaders will find commonalities in their joint statement on Saturday. The principles of their declaration are “based on common and shared values”, a senior US official said, adding that the language is “very specific”.

“As we have already emphasized as the United States, all G7 members seek to reduce risk, not decouple, from China. And you will also see that we are all aligned on principles that will guide each of the relationships in a different way,” the official continued, citing collective concerns about human rights, economic practices and changing technologies.

Climate change will also be factored into Saturday’s meetings, with an expected joint statement from G7 leaders on accelerating a clean energy transition.

“We take this element of President Biden’s agenda … and his focus on climate action and good jobs as complementary and model it for broader G7 action,” the senior official said, anticipating “deeper” commitments from other G7 countries.

The leaders will also attend an event aimed at increasing infrastructure investment in low- and middle-income countries, an initiative aimed at countering China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Biden is balancing his talks with the world leader with updates on the standoff over the US debt ceiling in Washington – a “topic of interest” in the president’s summit meetings, according to Sullivan.

“Countries want to have an idea of ​​how these negotiations are going to play out. And the president expressed his confidence that he believes we can get to an outcome where we avoid default, and part of the reason he’s going home tomorrow, rather than continuing with the rest of the trip, is that ‘he can help lead the effort to get him home,’ Sullivan said.

Biden, who left a leaders’ dinner early Friday to return to his hotel to receive additional briefings from staff, received ongoing updates on ongoing negotiations in Washington.

This story has been updated with additional developments.


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