G7 summit statement to target China’s ‘economic coercion’


Reuters :
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are set to discuss concern about China’s use of “economic coercion” in its dealings abroad as part of their larger joint statement next week, according to a US official familiar with the discussions.
The statement, a likely component of the overall communique that will be released by leaders during the May 19-21 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, is expected to be paired with a broader written proposal on how the seven advanced economies will work together to counter “economic coercion” from any country.
The main G7 statement is set to include “a section specific to China” with a list of concerns that include “economic coercion and other behavior that we have seen specifically from the [People’s Republic of China],” the official said on Friday.
A separate “economic security statement will speak more to tools” used to counter coercive efforts from any countries responsible, including planning and coordination, the person said. In each case, the statements are to expected go further than prior statements by the G7.
US President Joe Biden has made China a focus of his foreign policy, working to keep the tense and competitive relationship from veering into one of open conflict, including over self-ruled Taiwan.
The G7, which also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, is closely tied economically to China, the world’s biggest exporter and a key market for many of the seven countries’ companies.
Last month, China called a statement by the G7 foreign ministers that touched on similar topics “full of arrogance, prejudice against China,” and lodged complaints with this year’s G7 host, Japan.
Under Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, G7 statements often offered only a cursory mention of issues involving China. The Biden administration has pushed for more direct statements.
The joint statement issued by all the G7 leaders every year is intended to signal that the powerful countries are aligned on a range of political and economic issues.
G7 members will also hold out the prospect of further cooperation with China on areas like climate.