The G7 nations have declared their intentions to decrease their dependencies on China, but their leaders say they don’t plan to part ways with the world’s second largest economy.
The G7 leaders meeting in Hiroshima for their annual summit released their communique on Saturday.
“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China nor do we seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development. A growing China that plays by international rules would be of global interest,” the document says.
“At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying. We will take steps, individually and collectively, to invest in our own economic vibrancy. We will reduce excessive dependencies in our critical supply chains.”
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The document was released ahead of schedule to accommodate an appearance by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who arrived in Hiroshima Saturday afternoon.
The G7 leaders’ meeting comes at a time of global uncertainty magnified by geopolitical tensions with China and Russia.
The document released Saturday includes a passage on where the world’s most powerful democracies stand on China, and how they plan to counter its growing influence.
The leaders said they stand ready to build “constructive” relations with China, but they also plan to protect themselves by working together to counter economic coercion and stand against unfair practices.
Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China itself is a victim of economic coercion.
“If any country should be criticized for economic coercion, it should be the United States. The U.S. has been overstretching the concept of national security, abusing export controls and taking discriminatory and unfair measures against foreign companies,” Wang said in a routine news briefing.
The G7 leaders have been focused on building unity among members on how to address global challenges, while pulling in other countries into their tent.
Japan invited countries from the Global South to participate in this year’s summit as G7 nations aim to pull the countries away from China and Russia and to their side.
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The communique also includes language on foreign interference, something a government official says Canada pushed for.
The official, who provided the information during a media briefing ahead of the release of the communique, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought up the issue at the summit with other leaders.
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“We call on China to act in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular relations, and not to conduct interference activities aimed at undermining the security and safety of our communities, the integrity of our democratic institutions and our economic prosperity,” the document says.
His appearance comes after G7 nations announced new sanctions on Russia on Friday.
The leaders’ communique said they plan on supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s war “for as long as it takes.”
In addition to the release of the communique, Canada announced investments to support people in emerging economies and developing nations.
The hundreds of millions of dollars announced will go toward addressing climate change, energy, food security and women’s issues.
© 2023 The Canadian Press
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