The Group of Seven (G7) annual summit will be held this Friday in Hiroshima, Japan, where “countering the risks posed by China” will be under attention. All the members of G7 agree on the threat of Chinese economic oppression. Tackling the financial hazards imposed by Beijing is a common concern to all the Group members. However, reaching a consensus for decisive actions against China would be challenging, as Beijing is now the second-largest economy.
The members of the Group are the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, and all have signaled to put the Chinese punitive trade measures on the main agenda of the annual summit on Friday in Hiroshima. European Union leaders will also be there at the conference in Japan. Coercive moves by China have been a concern and have raised tension in the Asia Pacific and Europe in recent years. Chinese moves have been an issue for South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Lithuania; all are facing trade restrictions after disputes about the COVID-19 origin and Tensions with Taiwan.
Group members are expected to release a declaration expressing concerns regarding “China’s economic oppression” and propose a working path to resolve the issue together. China is important as it is a leading trading partner of Japan and Europe. It is uncertain how far Japan and European members can go with the matter with China, as a high portion of their trade is connected to it. Most of the American business is related to Canada and Mexico, and the US has been pushing hard for global efforts against Beijing. China is still US’s third biggest trading partner.
Japan and Europe at a challenging situation with US and China
An economics professor at Keio University, Mr. Sayuri Shirai, said Japan and Europe would be more conscious than the United States, as it can damage their relations with their trading partner, China. Shirai further said having good ties with Beijing to access its market, as it is becoming a state with the world’s highest GDP. The professor added that Japan has good military connections with America and might be closer to the US. On the other hand, many Japanese companies have direct investments in China, so Tokyo should also be careful with Beijing.
The loudest call for action against China is persuaded by the United States, as countering Beijing is a primary part of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy. Earlier this year, Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called to create an “Economic NATO,” the purpose of which would be to respond against any aggressive military actions and violations of sovereignty.
Former Prime Minister of Unite kingdom, Liz Truss, also passed the idea for the formation of Economic NATO and urged world leaders to be ready to put limitations on China if it makes aggressive moves against Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any actions against its policy regarding the island. In March, Europe introduced an anti-coercion instrument that would include a dispute resolution procedure and necessary measures to counter customs duties and restrictions on public procurement.
China Rejects Claims Against It
China was accused of using its trade as a weapon; it rejected all those accusations and claimed that America uses sanctions and export controls for its purpose. At a regular press conference, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Minister asked if G7 members have been going to take countering economic oppression as their agenda; they should also talk about American actions. Foreign Ministry also said Beijing is also a sufferer of the US’s economic oppression, and China always stands against such actions by any country.
The Chinese matter to be raised in the following annual summit event is not the only prospect for challenging conditions between US and G7 members. Last month, United Stated proposed to put a practical coordination ban on all Russian exports by the Group members, to which Europe and Japan objected. America believes the stand on economic coercion should practically be implemented instead of only debates.