G7 urges China to ‘play by the rules’ citing ‘economic coercion’

The Group of Seven has pledged to work together to counter economic coercion amid a “disturbing rise” in countries weaponising trade.

In a statement on economic security released on the second day of the G7 summit in Japan, the club of wealthy democracies said they would boost resilience “by reducing vulnerabilities and countering malign practices that exploit and reinforce them”.Western officials have become increasingly vocal about China’s use of trade restrictions in political disputes, although the G7 statement released on Saturday afternoon did not mention the country by name.

“The world has encountered a disturbing rise in incidents of economic coercion that seek to exploit economic vulnerabilities and dependencies and undermine the foreign and domestic policies and positions of G7 members as well as partners around the world,” the G7 leaders said.

“We will work together to ensure that attempts to weaponise economic dependencies by forcing G7 members and our partners, including small economies, to comply and conform will fail and face consequences.”

China’s use of punitive trade measures has been among the closely watched topics at the G7 summit, amid calls for coordinated action to push back against Beijing.Japan, South Korea, Australia and Lithuania have all been hit with trade restrictions in recent years following disputes with Beijing on issues ranging from the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to Taiwan.

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