4/4 © Reuters. High European Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, Dominic Raab, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Toshimitsu Motegi, French 2/4
By William James and Guy Faulconbridge LONDON (Reuters) – The wealthy democracies of the Group of Seven on Tuesday will discuss ways to counter challenges from China and Russia without trying to contain Beijing or increase tension with the Kremlin, two of their leaders said. diplomats. Founded in 1975 as a forum for the wealthiest nations in the West to discuss crises like OPEC’s oil embargo, the G7 is debating responses to the two vast and increasingly assertive countries, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. and climate change. “It is not our purpose to try to contain China or repress China,” US President Joe Biden‘s Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters before the first face-to-face meeting of G7 foreign ministers since 2019. “the international rules-based order” of subversive attempts by any country, including China. China is at the center of Tuesday morning’s discussions, while afternoon talks will focus on Russia, including how to respond to troop maneuvers on the border with Ukraine and the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. . Diplomats and investors regard China’s spectacular economic and military rise over the past 40 years as the most important geopolitical events of recent times, along with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, which ended the Cold War. The G7 combined still packs a punch – it has about $ 40 trillion in economic clout and three of the world’s five official nuclear powers. Russia was included in what became the G8 in 1997, but was suspended in 2014 after annexing Crimea from Ukraine. China, now the world’s second-largest economy, has never been a member of the G7. KREMLIN Britain will seek to agree to decisive action by G7 partners to protect democracies at a time when it says China’s economic influence and Russian malign activity threaten to undermine them. “The British G7 presidency is an opportunity to unite open and democratic societies and demonstrate unity at a time when there is a great need to address shared challenges and growing threats,” said British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. In the long term, there are deep concerns both in Washington and in European capitals about how the West should act toward Beijing and Moscow, who argue that Western criticism is unjustified and counterproductive. Blinken said the United States would prefer more stable ties with Russia, but that largely depends on how Russian President Vladimir Putin decides to perform, especially in theaters like Ukraine, which Blinken will visit later this week. “We have reaffirmed our unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Blinken said. “We are not looking for an escalation: we would prefer to have a more stable and predictable relationship. And if Russia moves in that direction, so do we.” The ministers will lay the groundwork for Biden’s first scheduled trip abroad since taking office: a G7 summit in Britain next month. In addition to G7 members Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, Britain has also invited ministers from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea this week.