G7 leaders are planning to announce on Saturday measures to respond to Chinese “economic coercion”, as the group of advanced economies seeks to adopt a common approach on Beijing, Trend reports citing Financial Times.
UK officials said a “platform” would be unveiled at the G7 summit in Hiroshima that would provide a forum for the identification of economic vulnerabilities and co-ordination of protective measures.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will open a summit session on economic security by noting China’s use of trade measures to coerce countries including Australia and Lithuania over political disputes.
“The platform will address the growing and pernicious use of coercive economic measures to interfere in the sovereign affairs of other states,” Sunak said in remarks released before the meeting.
“We should be clear-eyed about the growing challenge we face. China is engaged in a concerted and strategic economic contest.”
A US official said G7 nations — the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy — would outline “a common set of tools that we’ll use to address common concerns, both when it comes to China but also for other countries”.
Another official involved in the G7 talks said the tools would be used “in very specific areas” such as national security and issues involving the World Trade Organization.
The US official said the G7 would also release on Saturday a summit communique highlighting “a common approach on China”.
The communique is being released one day earlier than planned because the leaders are expected to focus on Ukraine on Sunday. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will travel to Asia to join the summit in person.
The co-ordination on China follows two years of efforts by the US administration of Joe Biden, helped by Japan, to foster unity among G7 members on challenges posed by Beijing.
European officials said the G7 would take a “clear-eyed perspective” towards China, maintaining that co-ordinated action was more powerful than unilateral measures by individual countries.
“We want to avoid misunderstandings [with Chinese leaders], but confront them when necessary,” added one of the officials.
But China on Friday attacked the G7’s language on “economic coercion”.
“The US often accuses other nations of utilising their great power status . . . and economic coercion to enforce compliance and engage in coercive diplomacy,” the Chinese foreign ministry said. “It is, in fact, the United States itself that instigates coercive diplomacy.”
One western diplomat said there was a big focus at the G7 on winning over the “global south”.
“It’s clear that China’s influence is significant on these countries around the world,” the diplomat said. “I think we are all trying to work out how we demonstrate to those middle-ground countries that we care about them at all times, not just when we want them to vote in a particular way.”