G-7 diplomats reject Chinese, N. Korean, Russian aggression

KARUSAVA, Japan (AP) — Top diplomats from seven wealthy democracies are pledging a tough stance on China’s escalating threats to Taiwan and North Korea’s long-range missile tests, while building momentum on ways to boost support for Ukraine. Punishment for Russia’s invasion.

Russia’s war in Ukraine will consume much of Monday’s agenda as diplomats gather in the Japanese hot spring resort city for a second day of talks to pave the way for action by G-7 leaders when they meet in Hiroshima next month.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the world is at a “turning point” in the conflict in Ukraine and must “resolutely reject unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, as well as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its threats to use nuclear weapons.” His colleagues, according to a Japanese summary.

The US delegation’s meeting comes at a critical moment in the world’s response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. G-7 ministers from Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, and the European Union are attempting to tackle China, which they see as formidable challenges based on post-World War II rules. International order.

A senior U.S. official traveling with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters that the Biden administration’s talks at last year’s G-7 meetings in Germany were aimed at increasing support for Ukraine, including a major effort on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Ensure continued provision of military assistance to Kiev. Escalating sanctions against Russia for the conflict, particularly through economic and financial sanctions first threatened by the G-7 in December 2021, would be a priority before the invasion, the official said.

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Ukraine faces a critical moment in the coming weeks, with Russia’s current offensive largely stalled and Ukraine preparing for a counteroffensive. The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Blinken’s priorities in the closed-door meetings, said ways to deepen support for Ukraine’s long-term security and deterrence capabilities will be discussed. This could improve Kyiv’s position for possible negotiations that could end the conflict on its terms.

The role of Japan – the only Asian member of the G-7 – as chair of this year’s talks provides an opportunity to discuss concerted action on China. Leaders and foreign ministers of G-7 nations, most recently France and Germany, have recently completed visits to China, and diplomats in Karuizawa are expected to discuss their views on where the Chinese stand on a range of issues, including Ukraine and the Northern War. Korea, and Taiwan, which is a particular sore point in US-China relations.

At a private working dinner on Sunday night, the first formal meeting of the diplomats, Hayashi emphasized continued dialogue with China on a number of global challenges, with participation from Beijing deemed critical. Chinese interests intertwined with rich democracies include global trade, finance and climate initiatives.

But diplomats want to address China’s more aggressive recent stance in Northeast Asia, where it has threatened Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its own.

According to a summary of the closed-door dinner, Hayashi told the ministers that foreign countries should “pursue a constructive and stable relationship, while expressing our concerns directly and China acting as a responsible member of the international community.”

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China recently sent planes and ships to simulate encircling Taiwan. Beijing is also rapidly building up nuclear weapons, taking a hard line on its claims to the South China Sea, and painting the scene of a coming conflict.

Efforts in recent years to make a major break from post-World War II defense policies can be seen in Japan’s preoccupation with acquiring advanced strike capabilities and cruise missiles to counter emerging threats.

Blinken, the top US diplomat, was due to visit Beijing in February, but the trip was postponed due to a Chinese spy balloon. The incident in US airspace has not yet been remedied.

Blink China’s top diplomat met briefly with Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Munich Security Forum, but high-level contacts between Washington and Beijing have become rare. Blinken will therefore seek insight from his French and German counterparts on their interactions with the Chinese, the senior US official said.

Despite French President Emmanuel Macron’s hints that the G-7 was split with China, the official said concern about China’s actions was shared among G-7 nations. The foreign ministers will discuss how to pursue an integrated approach with China, the official added.

North Korea is a major area of ​​concern for Japan and other neighbors in the region.

Since last year, Pyongyang has tested about 100 missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles. It also demonstrated the ability to reach the US mainland, threatening South Korea and Japan, as well as various short-range weapons.

Hayashi “expressed grave concern over North Korea’s unprecedented frequency and unprecedented number of missile launches over the previous week, and G-7 foreign ministers strongly condemned North Korea’s continued missile launches”. Summary.

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