G7 to discuss ‘common and concerted’ approach to China, U.S. official says
KARUIZAWA, Japan (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations are likely to discuss their “common and concerted” approach to China when they meet from Sunday, reflecting shared concerns about the Beijing’s actions, said a senior US State Department official.
China is front and center as ministers from the G7 group of rich countries meet for three days in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa. The only Asian member of the group, Japan has growing concerns about the growing power of neighbor Beijing in the region and is particularly concerned about any military action against Taiwan.
Beijing considers Taiwan as Chinese territory and has not renounced the use of force to take the democratically governed island. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen says that only the people of the island can decide their future.
Recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted potential differences between Europe and the United States over China. In interviews after visiting China this month, Macron warned not to be drawn into a crisis on Taiwan led by “American rhythm and Chinese overreaction”.
This led to a backlash, and on Friday European foreign policy officials urged Beijing not to use force on Taiwan, taking a hard line.
“There is collective concern about a number of actions that China is taking,” the US official told reporters on the plane to Japan from Vietnam, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the -information.
In Vietnam, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Both sides have expressed a desire to deepen their ties, as Washington seeks to solidify alliances to counter China.
There will likely be a discussion on how members can continue to take a “common and agreed approach,” toward China, the official said.
Recent G7 statements have included calls for frank and constructive engagement with Beijing while acknowledging that “individually all G7 members have deep economic relationships” with the world’s second-largest economy, the official said.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock sought to emphasize the unity among the G7 members.
“As democracies, we are successful in systemic competition with autocratic forces when our partners and friends around the world have confidence in us. We must avoid our unity being misunderstood by others as separation or opening new divisions ,” she said in other words. statement before her trip to Japan.
Taiwan will also be a topic of discussion, the senior US official said but declined to comment on any specific new language.
For host nation Japan, the crisis in Ukraine has raised concerns about the potential for Chinese military intervention in nearby Taiwan.
“For Japan, the G7 is a platform in which it can say that security issues are not only about the Ukraine war,” said Yoichiro Sato, professor of international relations at Ritsumeikan University of the Asia Pacific .
“Putting China on the agenda is not only important for Japan, but also for the United States,” he said.
In a statement, the British Foreign Office said the G7 ministers will discuss how international support can be used in the most strategic way to help Ukrainian forces continue their progress in the camp. of the battle and “ensure lasting peace”.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Sakura Murakami; Additional reporting by William James in London and Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Editing by William Mallard)
By Humeyra Pamuk and Sakura Murakami