G7 sends strong message to Russia by inviting Volodymyr Zelensky to Hiroshima, also addressing China.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasizes China as the “greatest challenge of our age” for global security and prosperity, citing its increasing authoritarianism both domestically and internationally.
The G7 leaders address Beijing on key issues like the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan, and “economic coercion” in two separate statements. However, the G7 faces a delicate balancing act due to their economic interdependence with China and growing competition, coupled with disagreements on human rights and other matters.
The G7 expresses concern over being held hostage as Beijing imposes trade sanctions on countries that displease it. Examples include South Korea for installing a US missile defense system and Australia during strained relations.
The European Union was alarmed when China blocked Lithuanian exports over Taiwan-related matters. The G7 condemns the “disturbing rise” of the “weaponization of economic vulnerabilities”.
The G7 has condemned China’s economic coercion, which it says is designed to undermine the foreign and domestic policies of G7 members and their partners. The group has called for a “de-risking” strategy, which would involve diversifying trade sources and protecting trade and technology. The G7 has also launched a “coordination platform” to counter coercion and work with emerging economies. This platform is still vague on how it will work, but it is likely to involve countries helping each other out by increasing trade or funding to work around any blockages put up by China.
The G7 also plans to strengthen supply chains for important goods such as minerals and semiconductors, and beef up digital infrastructure to prevent hacking and stealing of technology. The biggest stick the G7 plans to wield is multilateral export controls. This means working together to ensure that their technologies, particularly those used in military and intelligence, do not end up in the hands of “malicious actors.”
Here is a more detailed explanation of each of the G7’s proposed measures:
- De-risking: This is a policy of diversification and risk reduction. It would involve reducing reliance on China for critical goods and services, and diversifying trade partners. This would make it more difficult for China to use economic coercion to achieve its political goals.
- Coordination platform: This is a new initiative to help countries work together to counter economic coercion. It would provide a forum for countries to share information and coordinate their responses to coercion. The platform is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to be a valuable tool for countries that are facing economic coercion from China.
- Strengthening supply chains: This is a measure to make G7 countries less reliant on China for critical goods and services. It would involve investing in domestic production and diversifying supply chains. This would make it more difficult for China to disrupt G7 countries’ economies.
- Beefing up digital infrastructure: This is a measure to protect G7 countries’ digital infrastructure from hacking and stealing of technology. It would involve investing in cybersecurity and strengthening intellectual property rights. This would make it more difficult for China to steal G7 countries’ technology.
- Multilateral export controls: This is a measure to prevent the export of sensitive technologies to countries that could use them for malicious purposes. It would involve working together with other countries to create a list of sensitive technologies and to enforce export controls. This would make it more difficult for China to acquire sensitive technologies that could be used to harm G7 countries.
The G7’s proposed measures are a significant response to China’s economic coercion. They are designed to make it more difficult for China to achieve its political goals through economic means. The measures are also designed to strengthen G7 countries’ economies and to protect their interests.
The G7’s response to China’s economic coercion is a significant development. It shows that the G7 is united in its concern about China’s behavior and is willing to take steps to address it. The measures that the G7 has proposed are designed to make it more difficult for China to use economic coercion to achieve its political goals. They are also designed to strengthen G7 countries’ economies and to protect their interests.
It is unclear how China will respond to the G7’s measures. In the past, China has responded to criticism by accusing the West of trying to contain China’s rise. It is possible that China will take a similar approach this time. However, it is also possible that China will be more conciliatory, in an effort to avoid further escalation of tensions.
Only time will tell how China will respond to the G7’s measures. However, the G7’s response is a significant development and it is likely to have a major impact on the relationship between China and the West.
The G7’s response is also a sign of the growing tensions between China and the West. These tensions are likely to continue to grow in the years to come. It is important to remember that China is a major power and that it is not going to change its behavior simply because the West asks it to. The G7’s response is a step in the right direction, but it is only a first step. It will take a sustained effort by the West to convince China to change its behavior.
China has been anticipating the G7’s statements and has been preparing its response. In the days leading up to the summit, Chinese state media and embassies have been putting out pieces accusing the United States of its own economic coercion and hypocrisy.
On Saturday evening, China accused the G7 of “smearing and attacking” China and lodged a complaint with summit organizer Japan. China also urged the other G7 countries not to become the United States’ “accomplice in economic coercion,” and called on them to “stop ganging up to form exclusive blocs” and “containing and bludgeoning other countries.”
It is worth noting that China has also been seeking to create its own alliances with other countries. Just as the G7 summit kicked off, China hosted a parallel meeting with Central Asian countries.
It is still not clear if the G7’s plan will work. However, it is likely to be welcomed by those who have called for a clear strategy to handle China’s encroachments.
Indo-Pacific and China expert Andrew Small praised the statement as having “the feel of a real consensus,” noting that it expressed the “center-ground” view of the G7.
“There are still major debates playing out around what ‘de-risking’ actually means, how far some of the sensitive technology export restrictions should go, and what sort of collective measures need to be taken against economic coercion,” said Dr. Small, a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund think tank.
“But there is now a clear and explicit framing around how the economic relationships with China among the advanced industrial economies need to be rebalanced.”
In other words, the G7 is signaling that it is ready to take a more assertive stance towards China. This is a significant development, and it is likely to have a major impact on the relationship between China and the West.
SOURCE: BBC AND NEWS AGENCIES