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G7 wants ‘constructive’ China ties, calls out rights record | Politics News

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Hiroshima, Japan – The Group of Seven (G7) has called for a “constructive” relationship with China, arguing that it will target China’s rights record and territorial claims but not hinder its development.

In a communiqué released on Saturday, G7 leaders said they would seek cooperation on areas such as climate change and Beijing’s increasingly assertive stance to overturn decades-old assumptions about the global balance of power. He said he struck a balance between reacting.

Leaders of the Club of Wealth and Democracy said they didn’t want a decoupling from China but recognized that economic resilience required “risk mitigation and diversification”.

“Our policy approach is not aimed at harming China, nor does it seek to hinder China’s economic progress and development,” the G7 leaders said.

“A China that grows according to international rules will be the focus of the world.”

However, the G7, made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, must meet the challenges posed by China’s “non-market policies and practices,” counter its “malicious practices,” Develop resilience to coercion.”

The G7 also expressed concern over China’s claims in the East and South China Seas and its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang.

The G7 leaders also urged China to pressure Russia to end the war in Ukraine and seek a peaceful resolution to tensions over Taiwan, which Beijing has threatened to unify with mainland China by force if necessary. rice field.

Yuichi Hosoya, professor of international politics at Keio University, said the statement took a “very balanced approach.”

“This risk mitigation approach, rather than decoupling, is the EU’s preferred approach, which means the EU did not take the US ‘decoupling’ policy against China,” Hosoya told Al Jazeera. .

“Although I used critical language against some of China’s positions and policies, I think most of the major powers at the conference came to a conclusion that would be acceptable.”

China’s foreign ministry said late Saturday that it rejected the statement as an example of interference in its internal affairs and protested against G7 host Japan.

Michele Geraci, a professor of finance at the University of Nottingham, Ningbo China, and former senior official in Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development, said the G7 had “lost touch with reality” and was more concerned about the future of their economies and societies. said it should. .

“If we build 750 military bases in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, the Chinese military will be even more aggressive,” Guerasi told Al Jazeera, referring to the US military’s global footprint.

“Meanwhile, the G7 leaders are simply looking for foreign enemies and trying to cover up our own problems.”

Alongside Russia’s war with Ukraine, China’s growing power and influence will be a big focus of the three-day summit in Hiroshima, Japan, which ends on Sunday.

The rally comes amid growing calls among Western officials for concerted action against China, especially in the United States, where President Joe Biden has made competition with China a central pillar of his foreign policy. was done.

Earlier this year, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, called for the creation of an “economic NATO” to counter economic coercion by countries such as China.

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday that the G7 would develop measures to “deter and defend against China’s economic threats and retaliation.”

But Japan and its European members are seen as more cautious about antagonizing Beijing than the United States because of their heavy reliance on Chinese trade, raising questions about how far these measures will go.

G7 leaders said in a communiqué that they would launch a “coordination platform on economic coercion” to address economic coercion.

The statement said the initiative would strengthen the G7’s “collective assessment, preparedness, deterrence and response to economic coercion” and “further facilitate cooperation with partners beyond the G7”. No further details were given.

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