G7 leaders are set to unveil measures to respond to Chinese economic pressure, as the United States, Japan and other members of the bloc step up efforts to adopt a unified approach to Beijing.
US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said the G7 leaders of the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy will issue a statement on China on Saturday, outlining the tools those countries will use to push back against economic pressure. .
“G7 leaders will outline common tools to address the concerns that each of our countries face,” Sullivan said at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan.
Tools to improve economic security would include making supply chains more resilient, outbound investment measures and export controls designed to protect sensitive technology, Sullivan said. The United States and its allies are increasingly concerned about China’s ability to secure foreign technology to aid its military.
Washington and Beijing are planning a series of high-level meetings to follow up on an agreement between President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping last year to rebuild relations between the two superpowers. It fell to its worst level in decades.
Sullivan rejected suggestions that the G7 report on China could influence efforts to restart ties, saying the language was “no adversary” and that the United States and its allies wanted to work with China.
“This is not a cartoon issue of one-dimensional policy. It’s a multi-dimensional complex policy for a complex relationship with a very important country,” Sullivan said.
UK officials said G7 leaders would announce a platform that would provide a forum to identify economic vulnerabilities and coordinate security measures.
“The platform will address the growing and destructive use of coercive economic measures to interfere in the sovereign affairs of other states,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said ahead of the economic security debate tabled on Saturday.
“We must be clear about the growing challenge we face. China is engaged in an integrated and strategic economic competition.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said China is using debt-rigging diplomacy and “power exercise” to undermine countries’ political and economic stability.
In recent months, China has imposed sanctions on US defense firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and opened a national security investigation into US chipmaker Micron. It has raided US due diligence firm Mintz and Bain, a consultancy and detained an executive from Japan’s Astellas Pharma Group.
The G7 will release its final report on Saturday, a day earlier than planned, as leaders are expected to focus on Ukraine on Sunday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is visiting Asia for the first time since Russia invaded his country to attend the summit in person.
The convergence on China follows two years of efforts by the Biden administration, aided by Japan, to foster unity among G7 members on challenges posed by Beijing. European officials have said that maintaining coordinated action is more powerful than unilateral actions by individual countries.
China on Friday responded to US claims of economic coercion, saying the US and its allies are “using their great power status . . . and yielding to economic coercion and engaging in coercive diplomacy”.
Additional reporting by Joe Leahy in Beijing and Alice Hancock in Brussels