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G7 summit turns to simmering tensions with China

Published : Saturday, 15 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 480

G7 summit turns to simmering tensions with China

G7 summit turns to simmering tensions with China

BARI, June 14: G7 leaders meeting in Italy turn their attention to China on Friday, from security in the Asia-Pacific to how best to protect their industries while avoiding an outright trade war with Beijing.
After a first day dominated by Ukraine, US President Joe Biden and the leaders of Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Canada and Britain opened the second day of their summit in Puglia with talks on migration.
But the key session comes before lunch, focusing on fair trade with the worlds second-largest economy, notably on green technology.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was set to lead the talks, which officials said would also address North Korea and territorial disputes between China and its neighbours.
In addition, the Group of Seven rich democracies will be seeking a common response to Chinas alleged support of Russias military expansion, which Washington says is fuelling the war in Ukraine.
"G7 countries are on the same page vis-a-vis China," a Japanese government source told AFP.
Thursdays talks, attended by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, were marked by a strong show of G7 support for Kyiv in its war with Russia, and the agreement of a $50-billion new loan.
But there were also tensions, with France and the United States criticising host Italy over its reported attempts to water down references to abortion access in the final summit statement.
The leaders began Fridays talks on a lighter note, singing "Happy Birthday" for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who turned 66 on Friday, a diplomatic source said.
The summit comes amid souring trade relations between China and the West, exemplified by the European Unions announcement this week of plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles.
Beijing denounced what it called "naked protectionist behaviour" and said it reserved the right to file a suit with the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The US, Japan and the EU -- which attends G7 summits as an unofficial eighth partner -- have all voiced concern over Chinas so-called "industrial overcapacity".    —AFP






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