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EDITORIAL | G7 Countries Right to be Concerned About Disruptive China

No other nation is disrupting the international order on such a widespread global scale. Japan must work with G7 partners to deter an aggressive China.



Leaders of the G7 nations engage in discussion during the opening session of the Apulia G7 Summit on June 13. (©Kyodo)

In Apulia, Italy, the curtain has closed on the G7 summit. The meeting of leading democracies was held as the world fixated its attention on crises such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and upheaval in the Middle East

In addition to these pressing issues, the participants sought to deter various actions by China from disrupting the international order. This was a natural position for the G7 nations since they take collective responsibility for helping maintain peace and order in the world. 

The summit communique pledged continued support for Ukraine. It furthermore called on Russia to end its aggression and provide reparations to Ukraine. The G7 countries also agreed to use the proceeds from investments of frozen Russian funds. Western countries froze the funds under sanctions intended to help Ukraine after its invasion. They further pledged to make loans totaling $50 billion (around ¥7.8 trillion JPY) to Kyiv by the end of 2024. 

G7 leaders also addressed the conflict in Gaza, a self-governing Palestinian enclave. They expressed solidarity with Israel on the "brutal terrorist attacks" launched by Hamas from within Gaza. They likewise supported the proposed comprehensive ceasefire plan offered by United States President Joe Biden. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Beijing, China May 16, 2024. (©Sputnik/Pool via Reuters

China in Focus 

It was proper that the G7 should adopt a unified position on Ukraine and the Mideast. 

In a follow-up to the 2023 Hiroshima Summit, the leaders also expressed their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. Japan, as the only Asian member, urged the group to recognize the seriousness of China's disruptive behavior. 

The leaders duly took up the Indo-Pacific as a separate topic. In his remarks, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared that security for the Indo-Pacific region and Europe are "inseparable." 

The final communique reiterated the commitment of the G7 countries to a "free and open Indo-Pacific, based on the rule of law." It additionally reaffirmed that "maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is indispensable to international security and prosperity."  

Leaders also expressed deep concern about assistance to Russia from China and other countries. That assistance enables Russia's war machine to continue its invasion. Their communique declared, "We call on China to cease the transfer of dual-use materials, including weapons components and equipment, that are inputs for Russia's defense sector." 

Furthermore, the leaders expressed "serious concern" about China's "increasing use of dangerous maneuvers and water cannons against Philippine vessels." 

Chinese overproduction of industrial goods was another focus of concern. Along with it, G7 leaders noted "persistent, malicious cyberactivity stemming from China."

The human rights situations in Tibet and Xinjiang also drew criticism at the G7. So did China's crackdown on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms.

G7 leaders stand together for a family photo in Apulia, Italy. (Courtesy of the Italian government G7 website.)

Seeking 'Constructive and Stable Relations'

At the same time, the summit communique said the G7 nations "seek constructive and stable relations with China." Moreover, it emphasized how such cooperation is essential for addressing global challenges. 

That goes without saying. However, carefully reading the statement, it is abundantly clear that no other nation is disrupting the international order on as widespread a scale as China. For Japan, therefore, it is imperative to work with its G7 partners to deter an aggressive China. 


(Read the editorial in Japanese.)

Author: Editorial Board, The Sankei Shimbun

Keywords: editorial, G7, G7 communique, Indo-Pacific, China-Russia, war in Ukraine, rule of law, Taiwan Strait, Fumio Kishida, Chinese aggression, Philippines, overproduction, human rights, Hong Kong,