HIROSHIMA, Japan—Economic security will be a major focus on the second day of the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Hiroshima, with leaders outlining actions to counter Beijing’s “economic coercion” without decoupling from China.
The G-7 countries—the United States, the U.K., Japan, Canada, Germany, France, and Italy—are expected to announce “a common set of tools” to confront China’s efforts, national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on May 19 on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit.
“These economic security tools will include steps to build resilience in our supply chains. They will also include steps to protect sensitive technology like export controls and outbound investment measures,” Sullivan said.
And for the first time, the G-7 communiqué will outline “key elements on which all G-7 countries are aligned when it comes to dealing with the PRC,” according to Sullivan.
However, the leaders will emphasize that they are aiming to “de-risk, not decouple from China.”
Leveraging Economic Might
In recent years, China has increased its efforts to leverage its economic might to force political change around the world.
For example, after Australia called for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19 in April 2020, the communist regime announced trade sanctions on select Australian products.
The Chinese regime’s economic coercion of Australia has served as a “wake-up call” to other countries, Liz Truss, the U.K.’s Foreign Secretary at the time, warned.
There have been other instances of Chinese coercion in the past, including with Japan, which saw Chinese shipments of rare earth metals blocked due to a territorial dispute in 2010. South Korea faced business boycotts from China in 2017 after installing a U.S. missile defense system. And recently, Beijing retaliated against Lithuania after it attempted to strengthen ties with Taiwan.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned about China’s economic coercion ahead of the G-7 discussion today.
The leaders are expected to announce the formation of a new G7 Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion and this platform “will address the growing and pernicious use of coercive economic measures to interfere in the sovereign affairs of other states,” Sunak said in his remarks before the meeting. “We should be clear-eyed about the growing challenge we face. China is engaged in a concerted and strategic economic contest.”
‘Direct and Candid’
Sullivan was asked if the G-7 statement, which will be released soon, will worsen U.S.-China ties.
“I think you will find the China language to be totally straightforward. It is not hostile or gratuitous. It is just direct and candid,” he responded. “It is a multi-dimensional, complex policy for a complex relationship with a really important country.”
Also, in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, G-7 leaders will propose a strategy to boost infrastructure investments in underdeveloped countries.
The leaders are also promising not to rely on China for critical minerals and to take steps to build diverse and resilient supply chains for clean energy, which will be included in the G-7 statement.
According to a source close to the summit discussions, the G-7 leaders are more united on China this year than they were two years ago. There has been more progress and agreement on what concrete actions the G-7 could take, the source told The Epoch Times.
However, there are still some disagreements over how to implement these actions, which demands governments be more creative to overcome differences, the person added.
The G-7 leaders are also expected to issue a statement concerning Taiwan during the summit.
An important focus of this year’s summit is “Outreach to the Global South,” according to the agenda, which intends to increase outreach to Latin America, Africa, the rest of Asia, and the Pacific to counter China’s growing influence in these regions.
To that end, a record number of leaders have been invited to this year’s summit, including representatives of Australia, the Republic of Korea, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Comoros (representing the African Union), and the Cook Islands (representing the Pacific Island Forum).
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