China’s Global Times yesterday called the G7 an “anti-China workshop,” a day after Beijing summoned Japan’s envoy and berated Britain in a fiery response to statements issued at the group’s summit in Hiroshima.
G7 declarations issued on Saturday singled out China on issues including Taiwan, nuclear arms, economic coercion and human rights abuses, underscoring the wide-ranging tensions between Beijing and the group that includes the US.
“The US is pushing hard to weave an anti-China net in the Western world,” the Global Times said in an editorial titled “G7 has descended into an anti-China workshop.”
“This is not just a matter of brutal interference in China’s internal affairs and smearing China, but also an undisguised urge for confrontation between the camps,” it said.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it firmly opposed the statement by the G7 — which also includes Japan, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy — and late on Sunday said that it had summoned the Japanese ambassador to China in a pointed protest to the summit host.
Russia, a close ally of China that was also called out in the G7 statement over its invasion of Ukraine, said the summit was an “incubator” for anti-Russian and anti-Chinese hysteria.
Separately, China’s embassy in Britain urged London to stop slandering China, after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Beijing represents the world’s greatest challenge to security and prosperity.
The main G7 leaders’ communique mentioned China 20 times, up from 14 mentions last year.
“China’s reaction this time is quite intense,” City University of Hong Kong law professor Wang Jiangyu (王江雨) said. “The G7 mentioned many concerns [over China] in an unprecedented way. China views these issues as its core interests that are entirely its internal affairs which are not for the G7 to wag their tongues about.”
As well as taking issue with G7 comments on Taiwan, Beijing also accused the US and its allies of double standards over comments about a nuclear buildup and the use of economic leverage.
Despite Beijing’s reaction, US President Joe Biden said he expected a thaw in frosty relations with China “very shortly.”
However, analysts see no sign of any immediate easing of tensions, especially given Beijing’s rapid and sharp rebuttal.
“Beijing’s reaction [especially the early timing of its release] underlines that tensions in the region are already quite high and likely to increase further,” said Moritz Rudolf, fellow at Yale University’s Paul Tsai China Center.
China’s decision to summon Japan’s ambassador underlined the intensity of its anger, analysts said.
Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong (孫衛東) summoned the ambassador to register protests over “hype around China-related issues,” the ministry said in a statement.
Sun said Japan collaborated with the other members at the G7 summit “to smear and attack China, grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs, violating the basic principles of international law and the spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan,” referring to the China-Japan Joint Statement of 1972.
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