G7 summit: Leaders talk China, Zelenskyy arrives in Japan

G7 leaders meeting in Japan are discussing how best to "de-risk" relations with China while not hurting economic interests

G7 summit: Leaders talk China, Zelenskyy arrives in Japan (Photo: DW)
G7 summit: Leaders talk China, Zelenskyy arrives in Japan (Photo: DW)


G7 leaders meeting in Japan agreed on Saturday to outline measures designed to reduce risks posed by China while maintaining economic ties with the Asian giant.

"The world has encountered a disturbing rise in incidents of economic coercion that seek to exploit economic vulnerabilities," the leaders said in a statement that seem to reference attempts by China to use its economic power in political disputes with Australia and Lithuania.

The statement said the initiative, dubbed Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion, will see members meeting regularly to share information and give early warnings on cases of such coercion.

The talks on China come a day after the leaders unveiled a package of new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

A visit by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy to the three-day meeting in Hiroshima on Saturday seems likely to prompt further discussion of the conflict in Ukraine.

The G7, or Group of Seven, is composed of the world's richest democracies: Germany, Japan, France, Italy, the US, Britain and Canada, as well as the European Union.

G7 aims to 'de-risk, not decouple' from China

According to the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, G7 nations want to "de-risk, not decouple" from China in view of its status as the world's second-largest economy.

He said the G7 leaders would lay out measures including building more resilient supply chains and protecting sensitive technologies.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged that countries in the Global South be encouraged to cooperate economically with Western nations after making "bad experiences" with China.

She said many developing nations had joined China's Belt and Road investment project in the belief that it would aid their progress, but had ended up in debt.

Instead, she said,"We should offer win-win partnerships to emerging economies that are willing to work with us, adding: "But we have to be fast and we have to get concrete."

On the eve of the summit, the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo issued a statement expressing concern that "negative" China-related moves might be discussed at the summit.

Ukraine remains major topic

The visit by Ukraine's Zelenskyy seems, however, set to ensure that talks return to the topic of Russia's invasion of its neighbor.

Besides addressing the summit in a bid to bolster support for his country, Zelenskyy is to meet separately with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has maintained ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

US national security adviser Sullivan said Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden would also meet face-to-face at the summit.

Zelenskyy's appearance in Hiroshima, the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, comes as Russia continues to issue thinly veiled threats of a nuclear response to Western military support for Ukraine.

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