February 28, 2024

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The G7 summit in Japan awaits Zelensky’s arrival as leaders also turn their focus to Chinese risks

The G7 summit in Japan awaits Zelensky’s arrival as leaders also turn their focus to Chinese risks

(CNN) World leaders gathered in Japan vowed to “confront economic coercion” on Saturday in a thinly veiled warning against China, with Russia directly targeted in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelensky made a dramatic appearance.

The G7 talks in Hiroshima are looking for common ground on a range of global issues, including how to confront. Beijing’s growing army And economic stress as well as the war in Europe.

Differences remain between the United States and Europe over how to manage their increasingly fraught relations with China, the world’s second largest economy.

But the group issued a joint statement on Saturday slamming what leaders called “an alarming increase in incidents of economic coercion that seek to exploit economic vulnerabilities and dependencies.”

“We will work together to ensure that attempts to weaponize economic dependencies by forcing compliance and compliance by G7 members and our partners, including small economies, fail and face consequences,” the group said.

Russia remains a major focus at this weekend’s meeting, which was provided with an additional jolt of drama with the appearance of Zelensky, who will address the leaders. in person on Sunday.

“Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will be closer today,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter, moments after a French government plane carrying the wartime leader landed at Hiroshima airport.

His presence underscores the urgent need to preserve Western unity in the face of Russian aggression. There are growing concerns that Ukraine’s political support may be waning, adding urgency to Zelensky’s calls for more advanced weapons and tougher sanctions against Moscow.

At Friday’s G7 meetings, Biden told his counterparts he was dropping objections to supplying Ukrainians with F16 fighter jets and would train Ukrainian pilots in the United States, a major advance in US military support to the country.

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Biden is expected to unveil a $375 million military aid package for Ukraine after hearing the summit from Zelensky, officials familiar with the matter said. But the leaders grapple with a wide range of issues outside the war-torn country during their talks, including climate. Change and Emerging Artificial Intelligence Technologies.

A joint approach to China?

The topic of China has also taken on new significance with Beijing stepping up its military provocations over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Biden aides said they hope to emerge from this week’s summit having rallied America’s allies around a general approach to Beijing, recognizing that each country will deal with China in its own way.

The joint statement on economic security eventually released on Saturday did not specifically mention China — with an explicit reference to Russia — but its intended audience was unmistakably Beijing’s leadership.

Leaders have called for strengthening supply chain resilience, responding to “harmful industrial subsidies,” and protecting sensitive technologies critical to national security — all areas where leaders have expressed concerns in recent years regarding China’s economic practices.

Western leaders and officials were more direct in framing the actions as a response to China’s threats in comments made about the statement.

Ahead of its release on Saturday, the UK issued a statement on G7 measures against economic coercion, which noted China’s use of “its economic power to coerce countries including Australia and Lithuania over political disputes.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in the statement released by Downing Street, which also referred to the “weaponisation” of Russia. energy supply in Europe.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the G7’s action in a statement on Saturday that countries should be “aware of the risk of weaponizing interlinkages,” but she “urged not to take risks, not to decouple” — a term she used to indicate how the EU should To approach its economic relationship with China.

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Last year, the European Union launched a case at the World Trade Organization accusing Beijing of “discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania,” following Beijing’s condemnation of the Baltic state’s policy toward Taiwan, the self-ruled democratic island that the Chinese Communist Party claims as its own.

China is still a region where there are significant differences. For example, French President Emmanuel Macron said last month that Europe should not follow the United States into a war with China. Many European countries are wary of reducing economic ties with Beijing.

However, Biden and his fellow leaders do have a lot in common.

“As we have already emphasized as the United States, all of the G7 is looking to de-risk, not decouple, from China,” said a senior US official.

“And you will also see that we are all in agreement in the principles that will guide each of the relationships in other ways,” the official continued, referring to collective concerns about human rights, economic practices, and evolving technologies.

China has already backtracked before the G7 discussions, with its foreign ministry on Thursday publishing a 5,000-plus-word document on its website dating back to 1960s Cuba to cite what it described as examples of “coercive US diplomacy and its applications”. Damage.”

“The United States often accuses other countries of using great power status, coercive policies and economic coercion to pressure other countries into submission and engage in coercive diplomacy,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday.

“The truth is that the United States is the origin of coercive diplomacy. Only the United States and the United States own the copyright to coercive diplomacy,” he said, adding that China “has no taste for coercion and bullying.”

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debt ceiling

Climate change will also influence Saturday’s meetings, with a joint statement expected from G7 leaders on accelerating the clean energy transition.

“We’re taking this element of President Biden’s agenda … and his focus on climate action and good jobs as complements and making it a blueprint for broader G7 action,” the senior official said, outlining “deep” commitments from other G7 countries.

The leaders will also attend an event aimed at increasing infrastructure investments in low- and middle-income countries, in a step towards countering China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Biden balances world leader talks with updates from Confrontation over the US debt ceiling In Washington – “a topic of interest” at the president’s summit meetings, according to Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

“States want to have a sense of how these negotiations are going. And the president has expressed confidence that he thinks we can come to a conclusion where we avoid default, and part of the reason he’s coming home tomorrow, rather than continuing with the rest of the trip, He is so he can help lead the effort to bring her home.”

Speaking to reporters as he met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan, Biden said he was “not concerned at all” about negotiations with House Republicans to avoid default.

“This is being done in stages,” Biden said. “I’ve been involved in these negotiations before.”

Biden, who left a leaders’ dinner early Friday to return to his hotel to receive additional information from staff, was given constant updates on the ongoing negotiations in Washington.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.