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Atlantic Council: the G7 Summit in Japan Changed the Rules of the Game

21.05.2023
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According to J. Lipsky

Although China is never mentioned in the special statement of the G7 summit on economic security, do not be mistaken, it is all about China. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the issue of combating China's economic pressure a priority for the Japanese G7, and with their statement the leaders achieved what is likely to be a lasting legacy of the summit. The main question that arose in Hiroshima was as follows: will the leaders be able to maintain unity in the confrontation with Russia and use this collective force in the fight against China? A special application is the first concrete sign that the answer is positive. Two years ago, during the British summit of the Big Seven in Cornwall, it was hard to believe that European leaders would sign a statement that was so specifically addressed to Beijing. But after China began pressuring Lithuania for its support of Taiwan, moods on the continent began to change. Now, all G7 leaders have committed to creating a new platform for coordinating a quick response if a specific country is targeted. They are also accelerating the development of new supply chains and trying to use the Global Infrastructure Investment Partnership as an alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative.
The statement does not specify what other specific steps the group will take to combat what they call "an alarming increase in cases of economic coercion." At the same time, the use of sanctions pressure mechanisms by the West itself is considered legitimate by the "Big Seven", since these instruments have a legal basis and are recognized as a justified response to violations of international law. Thus, the G7 has demonstrated that it will focus more and more on China and will try to adhere to a coordinated political approach in this matter.

 

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