Western officials are increasingly denouncing Beijing’s use of trade restrictions in political conflicts.
Hiroshima, Japan – THE Group of Seven pledged to work together to counter economic coercion amid a “worrying rise” in the number of countries using trade as a weapon.
In a statement on economic security released on the second day of the G7 summit in Japan, the club of wealthy democracies said they would build resilience “by reducing vulnerabilities and tackling malicious practices that exploit and reinforce them.” .
Western officials are increasingly vocal about China’s use of trade restrictions in political conflicts, although the G7 communiqué released Saturday afternoon did not mention the country by name.
“The world has faced a worrying increase in incidents of economic coercion that seek to exploit economic vulnerabilities and dependencies and undermine the foreign and domestic policies and positions of G7 members as well as their partners around the world,” they said. declared the G7 leaders.
“We will work together to ensure that attempts to weaponize economic dependencies by forcing G7 members and our partners, including small economies, to conform and comply will fail and face consequences. »
China’s use of punitive trade measures is among the closely watched topics at the G7 summit, amid calls for coordinated action to push back on Beijing.
Japan, South Korea, Australia And Lithuania have all been hit by trade restrictions in recent years following disputes with Beijing over issues ranging from the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to Taiwan.
In a statement released later Saturday, G7 leaders outlined a specific strategy for dealing with China.
“We do not dissociate ourselves or withdraw into ourselves. At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires risk reduction and diversification,” the statement said. “A growing China that respects international rules would be of global interest. »
On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said the G7 was “developing the tools necessary to deter and defend against China’s intimidation and economic retaliation.”
Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss called earlier this year for the creation of an “economic NATO”, saying the international community should be prepared to implement tough sanctions against China if Beijing took aggressive steps in in favor of Taiwan’s self-government.
Japan and European members are seen as more hesitant than the United States to antagonize Beijing because of their heavy reliance on Chinese trade.