Home News and Politics Latest G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Highlights Global Impact of Chinese Relations

Latest G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Highlights Global Impact of Chinese Relations

Latest G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Highlights Global Impact of Chinese Relations

The G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the United Nations General Assembly has released a joint statement addressing global issues related to China. The statement, released under a separate subhead, highlights the concerns expressed by G7 members directly to China.

In her role as Chair of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Japan’s new foreign affairs minister, Yoko Kamikawa, also released a statement reiterating the concerns expressed by the G7 members to China.

The G7 on China

The G7 is committed to maintaining a “constructive and stable” relationship with China. However, the G7 has also called on China to address various global issues including climate change, biodiversity crises, debt sustainability of vulnerable countries, global health, and macroeconomic stability. The G7 emphasizes that economic resilience requires risk reduction and diversification when necessary and appropriate.

Furthermore, the G7 has emphasized the need for a level playing field for workers and companies in order to establish sustainable economic relations with China and strengthen the international trading system.

The G7 Foreign Ministers have urged China to comply with its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. They have also called on China to refrain from activities aimed at undermining the security, safety, democratic institutions, and economic prosperity of their communities.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on September 21 in New York. (Provided by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Kyodo)

Maritime Expansion and Taiwan

The G7 remains deeply concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas. The G7 reiterates that China has a responsibility to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The G7 emphasizes that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea and opposes China’s militarization and provocative activities in the region.

The G7 Foreign Ministers highlight the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and call for the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. They also express their support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations.

Human Rights

The G7 members express concern about the human rights situation in China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet. They call on China to honor its commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, which guarantee rights, freedoms, and a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong.

In terms of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, the G7 reiterates the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive, prosperous, secure, and based on the rule of law. They emphasize the protection of shared principles such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, peaceful dispute resolution, fundamental freedoms, and human rights.

A woman commemorating the victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown is taken away by security officials in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay on June 4, 2023. (©Kyodo).

The Global South

Economic security is a key focus of Japan’s G7 presidency. Strengthening economic security requires cooperation with like-minded partners, and the G7 aims to engage more directly with the “Global South.” The Global South refers to developing, less developed, or underdeveloped countries and sub-regions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. These regions often face higher levels of poverty, income inequality, and socioeconomic and political challenges.

China has increasingly targeted countries in the Global South with its coercive economic and strategic actions. Beijing employs economic leverage to achieve political and strategic objectives.

China’s President Xi Jinping (right) and Benin’s President Patrice Talon on September 1 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (©Xinhua via Kyodo)

Economic Coercion

China has used economic levers in coercive ways across the Global South. Beijing has effectively linked economics to politics and geostrategy. Its coercive leverage has become a predictable tactic in its geopolitical toolkit.

When China’s activities are exposed, it often turns to economic coercion as a strategy. It uses its economic power through methods such as foreign direct investment, economic preferences, and advantageous contracts with state-owned enterprises and companies in target countries.

The declarations made by the G7 leaders are not legally binding, but as a collective body representing 40% of the global GDP, the G7 remains a significant challenger to China’s dominance on various issues.

Author: Dr Monika Chansoria

Dr Monika Chansoria is a Senior Fellow at The Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo and the author of five books on Asian security. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of any affiliated organization. Follow her column, “All Politics is Global,” on JAPAN Forward and on Twitter.


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