G7 ministers stress unity amid tensions with China, Russia - GulfToday

G7 ministers stress unity amid tensions with China, Russia


Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani addresses a press conference in Karuizawa on Tuesday. AFP

The Group of Seven industrial powers drew together on Tuesday to criticise China's coercion of Taiwan and Russia's threat to station nuclear weapons in Belarus, promising to intensify sanctions on Moscow for its war on neighbouring Ukraine.

"The strength of the solidarity between the G7 foreign ministers is at a level not seen before," Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a news conference after hosting a meeting of the group in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa.


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The show of unity comes after French President Emmanuel Macron this month said the European Union should reduce its dependency on the United States and cautioned against being drawn into a Taiwan crisis.

Beijing views Taiwan as Chinese territory and has not renounced the use of force to take the democratically governed island.

The G7 communique highlights how the dual issues of Russian military intervention and fears of similar action by China against Taiwan have been a focus of the three-day meeting.

Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during an event. File photo

The group, which comprises the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada, described Russia's threat to put nuclear weapons in Belarus as "unacceptable". It said "any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Ukraine "would be met with severe consequences."

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month said Russia would station shorter-range, so-called tactical nuclear weapons because the NATO military alliance was expanding towards Russia's borders.

It was the first time since the Cold War ended three decades ago that Russia has suggested stationing nuclear forces in another country, raising the stakes in its intensifying standoff with the West over Ukraine.

In a bid to limit Moscow's ability to wage its war, the G7 ministers in their communique also warned other nations, which the U.S. and other Western nation worry could include China, not to supply Russia's armed forces.

"We will reinforce our coordination to prevent and respond to third parties supplying weapons to Russia," they said.




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