US and Europe unite in tough message against Beijing – POLITICO
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HIROSHIMA, Japan — China faced a strong backlash from Group of Seven nations on Saturday over its stances on Russia, Taiwan, trade intimidation, economic monopoly and domestic interference, with the G7 leaders’ statement reflecting a broad convergence of the United States, Europe and Japan on the need to change course.
Issued as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Hiroshima, where the summit is taking place, the statement from the leaders of wealthy G7 democracies called on Beijing to do more to stop Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“We call on China to pressure Russia to cease its military aggression and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine,” the leaders said in the statement. “We encourage China to support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on territorial integrity and the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine.”
Basically, the US and Europe – the two main constituents of the G7 – have come to a common language on China. For France and Germany in particular, their concern for a conciliatory attitude towards China was reflected in the final declaration, which began the section on China by stating “We are ready to build constructive and stable with China”.
The G7’s repeated emphasis on “risk reduction, not decoupling” is a nod to the EU’s approach to China, as European member countries are reluctant to cut trade relations with Beijing altogether.
The language in Taiwan has remained the same from recent statements. “We reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as indispensable to the security and prosperity of the international community,” the statement said, adding that there is “no change in basic positions” in terms of the one China policy.
Besides Russia, another new element this year is the mention of domestic interference – which rights groups say reflects growing concern over ‘overseas police stations’ from China to other countries. “We call on China (…) not to engage in interference activities aimed at undermining the safety and security of our communities, the integrity of our democratic institutions and our economic prosperity,” the leaders said in their statement, citing the Vienna Convention which regulates diplomatic diplomacy. business.
With regard to the global economy, both sides of the Atlantic and Japan now see the need to fundamentally alter the overall dynamics of economic globalization, placing security at the forefront of political considerations.
“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, nor do we seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development. A growing China that abides by international rules would be of global interest,” they said. G7 leaders in the statement.
“We are not decoupling or inward looking. At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires risk reduction and diversification. We will take action, individually and collectively, to invest in our own economic dynamism. We reduce overdependencies in our critical supply chains,” they said.
A central theme is economic coercion, where China has punished a wide range of countries – from Japan and Australia to Lithuania and South Korea – in the decade when political disagreements have emerged.
G7 countries have launched a new “Economic Coercion Coordination Platform” to “increase our collective assessment, preparedness, deterrence and response to economic coercion,” the statement said. They also plan to coordinate with other partners to advance work on this.
The joint call for various sources of critical minerals, while stopping short of naming China, is widely seen as targeted against the Asian superpower that controls, say, 70% of the world’s rare earth production. G7 countries “support open, fair, transparent, secure, diverse, sustainable, traceable, regulated and market-based trade in critical minerals” and “oppose market-distorting practices and monopolistic policies on minerals criticism,” according to the statement.
They also pledge to meet the goal of mobilizing up to $600 billion in financing for quality infrastructure through the Global Infrastructure Investment Partnership, a rival to China’s Belt and Road initiative. . “We will mobilize the private sector for accelerated action to this end,” they said.
During a bilateral meeting in Hiroshima, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron “welcomed the strong unity of purpose at the G7 on … our collective approach to the economic threat posed by China,” said said a spokesperson for Sunak’s office.