United front at G7 summit against China's economic and military actions | World News - Hindustan Times
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United front at G7 summit against China's economic and military actions

Jun 14, 2024 04:13 PM IST

The seven democratic nations are mobilising to prevent unfair market practices by China and the miliatry support the country is giving Russia in the Ukraine war

The agenda for the second day of the G7 summit in Puglia, Italy emphasised on how their economic interests could be protected protected without inciting a trade war with China.

United front at G7 summit against China's economic and military actions(AFP)
United front at G7 summit against China's economic and military actions(AFP)

The Group of seven rich democracies - USA, Italy, Britain, Canada, Japan, France and Germany - will discuss the possibility of fair trade, especially when it comes to green technology.

Washington has also claimed that China's alleged support of Russia's military operations is driving the Ukraine war to continue and seeks a common response from the G7 to China's military actions.

A Japanese government source reportedly told AFP that, “G7 countries are on the same page vis-a-vis China.”

Read more: G7 Summit 2024: PM Narendra Modi arrives in Italy. What's on agenda?

Trade relations between China and Western countries had been shaky already before the European Union announced plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles.

The US, Japan and the European Union -- often referred to as an eighth partner -- have all flagged China's so-called "industrial overcapacity" according to AFP.

AFP reported that they consider China's generous subsidies, specifically for green energy and technology sectors such as solar panels and electric vehicles, to be the cause of unfairly cheap goods sweeping through the global market.

This excess capacity threatens Western companies struggling to compete, especially in the growing green technology space.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told the press, before the summit that,"We will confront China's non-market policies that are leading to harmful global spillovers."

Read more: Joe Biden's embarrassing stroll and salute at G7 event sparks fresh concerns, ‘it’s horrifying' say netizens

China has dismissed these issues but the US is pressing for a united G7 front.

G7 countries' finance ministers have vowed last month, to weigh steps to "ensure a level playing field" for all countries.

Export curbs

The day before the summit at the Borgo Egnazia resort, the EU announced that it would introduce tariffs up to 38 per cent for imported Chinese electric vehicles, from the beginning of July.

Beijing denounced it as "naked protectionist behaviour" and said it reserved the right to file a suit with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Washington increased tariffs last month on Chinese green tech imports, including a 100 percent tariff on electric vehicles, with Biden calling out "cheating" on Beijing's part.

China has also recently restricted the exports of minerals required in the telecommunication and electric vehicle industries, such as gallium, germanium and graphite.

These restrictions threaten international supply chains, and have created fear of further curbs on materials needed for electronics.

According to AFP, analysts warn of near-term supply shortages and hiked prices if China were to further curb exports, even as the US and other countries attempt to diversify their supplies and boost domestic production.

Read more: Joe Biden to sign new security agreement with Ukraine amid G7 summit

Russia's war machine

Defence and safety concerns were also discussed at the summit, especially the allegations of China helping Russia in military expansion.

In a press conference, on Thursday, with Ukraine's President Zelensky, Biden stated that the G7 had "agreed to taking collective action" against China for supplying Russia with "materials they need for their war machine".

The US has accused China of helping Russia's defence industry and as a result, Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well, through joint production of drones and exports of machine tools needed for ballistic missiles.

Zelensky said that in a phone conversation, Chinese President Xi Jinping, promised him that he would not sell weapons to Russia.

"We will see," Zelensky added.

G7 leaders will also discuss security in the Asia-Pacific, where fears of potential conflict are high due to China's China's confrontational tactics and militarisation of islands in the South China Sea, as well as their manoeuvres against self-ruled Taiwan.

In the last G7 summit, in Japan, all leaders had agreed that they "oppose China's militarisation activities in the region".

AFP reported that the Japanese government source said it was crucial for the leaders meeting in Puglia to send a clear message to Xi that the issue was not merely regional, but of concern to all the G7 nations.

"All the (G7) countries are aware that we need to convey the message very candidly to the Chinese at the very top level," the source told AFP.

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