| 1 December 2023, Friday |

G7 aims to rein in risks from China, awaits Zelenskiy

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations will detail initiatives aimed at limiting dangers from China while maintaining economic relations on Saturday, a day after agreeing to increase penalties against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

At a three-day meeting in the hugely significant Japanese city of Hiroshima, the leaders of the world’s richest democracies are dealing with the threats posed by China and Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is due to arrive in Hiroshima on Saturday to drum up support for his country’s defence effort. His arrival in the world’s first city attacked by an atomic bomb comes as nuclear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin have unsettled the West.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 15 months ago has also sparked fears in host nation Japan, Asia’s only G7 member, that China could take more aggressive action against neighbouring Taiwan, an island Beijing claims as its own.

The G7 nations are looking to “de-risk, not decouple” from China, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters in Hiroshima.

The leaders would outline a common set of tools to address economic coercion, including steps to build more resilient supply chains and efforts to protect sensitive technologies through export controls and outbound investment measures, Sullivan said.

In a draft of the final communique seen by Reuters, G7 leaders agreed that China’s status as the world’s second-largest economy meant they had to continue to cooperate.

“We do not seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” the leaders said in the draft, which is subject to change.

China has voiced concern that the summit would turn into a “political show” against Beijing. China’s embassy in Tokyo issued a statement on the eve of the summit expressing grave concerns about recent signs of “negative” China-related moves at the G7 meeting.

  • Reuters