HIROSHIMA: In a thinly veiled threat to China, the G7 leaders promised on Saturday that attempts to “weaponize” trade and supply chains would “fail and face consequences.”
A major focus of the bloc’s conference in Hiroshima was to push back against Beijing’s readiness to use trade sanctions in diplomatic conflicts, even if its final statement on economic security made no specific mention of China.
Although the group warned of a “disturbing rise in incidents of economic coercion” that try to “undermine the foreign and domestic policies and positions of G7 members” and partners, the objective was still obvious.
The statement continued, “Attempts to weaponize economic dependences by pressuring G7 countries and our partners, including small economies, to conform and comply will fail and suffer repercussions.
The vulnerability of the bloc in crucial industries like semiconductors, batteries, and critical minerals, all of which are essential to modern economies, is of particular worry to the bloc.
It promised to improve supply chains, deal with disruptions, and ensure that technologies with national security implications are “appropriately controlled”—a promise that will probably be interpreted as a promise to keep some products out of Beijing’s hands.
Prior to the summit’s conclusion, US and EU officials provided a preview of the group’s position, including language that would appear in a final statement.
“You’ll discover that the Chinese language is quite simple. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said: “It is neither aggressive nor gratuitous.
The desire for stable relations with China and the desire to collaborate on matters of shared interest is expressed in crucial ways throughout that language, he continued.
It also outlines our worries, but China is well aware of them.
In recent months, Washington has taken the lead in an aggressive campaign to prevent China from using sophisticated chip-manufacturing techniques, claiming national security concerns while putting pressure on Japan and the Netherlands to do the same.
According to Sullivan, the disputes between the European Union and the United States in the past about how to handle China have mostly subsided.
The shared approach will place a strong focus on the need to defend Western nations and their allies while averting direct conflict with China.
But it is not a simplistic or cartoonish policy. It is a multifaceted, intricate policy for an intricate relationship with a very significant nation, he remarked.
A representative of the European Union added that the G7 was “ready to cooperate” and weigh the dangers associated with China-related strategic concerns.
“All G7 leaders want to claim that China has adopted a methodical strategy of acquiring essential raw materials and managing supply chains… and we are diversifying as a result,” the person said.