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G7 to agree tools to counter Chinese economic ‘coercion’

The G7 will agree Saturday on a “common set of tools” to combat economic “coercion” and limit the risk that high-tech exports to China undermine national security, a top U.S. official said.

G7 to agree tools to counter Chinese economic ‘coercion’

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at the G7 summit in Hiroshima that the measures will focus on more resilient supply chains for G7 countries, which rely heavily on China in some sectors.

The agreement will also include “steps to protect sensitive technology, like export controls and outbound investment measures”, he added.

Washington has led an aggressive push in recent months to restrict China’s access to advanced chip-manufacturing tools, citing national security concerns while pressing Japan and the Netherlands to follow suit.

Sullivan said that past differences between the United States and the European Union countries on how to deal with China have largely faded.

The common strategy will emphasize the need to protect Western powers while avoiding outright confrontation with China, he said.

“The G7 leaders will outline a common set of tools to address concerns that each of our countries face, including from economic coercion,” he said.

“You will find the China language to be totally straightforward. It is not hostile or gratuitous… there are key elements right from the top of that language that speak to the desire for stable relations with China and the desire to work together on issues of mutual interest,” Sullivan said.

“It also spells out our concerns, but those concerns are well known to China,” he added.

Sullivan said “intensive” diplomacy since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January 2021 has resulted in G7 “alignment” on the issue.

“But it is not a cartoonish or one-dimensional policy. It is a multi-dimensional, complex policy for a complex relationship with a really important country,” he said.

A European Union official also said the G7 was “ready to cooperate” and assess risks on strategic issues related to China.

“The aim of all G7 leaders is to say that China has followed a systematic policy of acquiring critical raw materials, controlling supply chains… and we are responding to this by diversifying,” the official said.

A French diplomatic source added that cohesion on China among G7 members had “really progressed”.

“We’re not in a situation where the United States on one side are pushing for an ultra-aggressive policy towards China, while on the other, we’re trying to counter that,” the source told AFP.

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