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G7 Targets China’s Economic Coercion

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In an upcoming G7 summit, leaders of the Group of Seven countries are expected to address concerns about China’s use of “economic coercion” in its international dealings, according to a U.S. official familiar with the discussions. The joint statement, set to be included in the overall communique during the summit in Hiroshima, Japan, will highlight specific concerns about China’s behavior, including economic coercion. It will be accompanied by a broader proposal on how the G7 economies can collectively counter such coercive actions by any country.

The G7 statement will mark a departure from previous statements that offered only brief mentions of China-related issues. The Biden administration has been pushing for more direct and explicit statements regarding China. The statement is intended to signal a united front among the G7 countries on political and economic matters.

The G7 members, including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union, recognize the economic significance of their relationship with China, the world’s largest exporter and a crucial market for their companies. The discussion on China’s economic coercion and related topics has been a focal point of the ongoing G7 finance leaders’ talks in Niigata, Japan. The finance leaders have been working on reducing their countries’ over-reliance on Chinese manufacturing in their supply chains and exploring partnerships with low- and middle-income countries.

However, reaching a consensus on specific measures, such as controls on outbound investment in China, has proved challenging, as some G7 members remain skeptical. The proposed policies aim to prevent China from gaining military access to technologies that could provide it with a technological advantage. They are seen as complementary to export controls that restrict access to certain semiconductors with similar goals.

While G7 members may have differing approaches to China, there are common principles that unite them in addressing the challenges posed by China’s actions. The U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, during her travel for the G7 finance meeting in Japan, highlighted China’s use of economic coercion against Australia and Lithuania.

The G7 summit in Hiroshima will serve as a crucial test for the group’s ability to find common ground on addressing China-related issues. Although each member may follow its own path, there is a shared commitment to a collective approach in dealing with China. The discussions will explore tools, planning, and coordination to counter economic coercion, and the statements are expected to be more comprehensive and explicit than previous G7 statements on the topic.

One can expect a strong response from China, whose strategies under President Xi have openly and notoriously used these tactics around the world. The Chinese Communist Party will not take this insult lying down.

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