G7 draft confronts China’s ‘unfair’ business practices, drops ‘abortion’ mention after wording dispute

G7 draft confronts China’s ‘unfair’ business practices, drops ‘abortion’ mention after wording dispute
G7 draft confronts China’s ‘unfair’ business practices, drops ‘abortion’ mention after wording dispute

Hello and welcome to the details of G7 draft confronts China’s ‘unfair’ business practices, drops ‘abortion’ mention after wording dispute and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Pope Francis, United Arab Emirates' President Mohammed bin Zayed, Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a session on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy, Africa and Mediterranean on the second day of the G7 summit in Borgo Egnazia, Italy, June 14, 2024. — Reuters pic

BORGO EGNAZIA (Italy), June 14 — The Group of Seven (G7) nations vowed today to tackle what they called unfair business practices by China that were undermining their workers and industries, according to a draft statement on the final day of their annual summit.

The G7 also warned of action against Chinese financial institutions that helped Russia obtain weaponry for its war against Ukraine.

Pope Francis joined the leaders of Italy, the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Japan in southern Italy today, a historic appearance at a G7 to take part in a discussion on artificial intelligence.

The pope had meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and was due later to have talks with other leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

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The draft summit statement, reviewed by Reuters, stressed the G7 was not trying to harm China or thwart its economic development but would “continue to take actions to protect our businesses from unfair practices, to level the playing field and remedy ongoing harm”.

Washington expected to see unprecedented unity across the G7 in confronting China’s non-market policies and practices, a senior US official at the G7 said.

The US this week imposed fresh sanctions on China-based firms supplying semiconductors to Russia amid worries over Beijing’s increasingly aggressive stance against Taiwan and run-ins with the Philippines over rival maritime claims.

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“China is not supplying weapons, but the ability to produce those weapons and the technology available to do it, so it is, in fact, helping Russia,” Biden told reporters at the summit yesterday after signing a bilateral security pact with Zelenskiy.

During the first day of their meeting in southern Italy, the G7 nations agreed on a deal to provide US$50 billion (RM235 billion) of loans for Ukraine backed by interest from frozen Russian assets — hailing the accord as a powerful signal of Western resolve.

Biden held talks today with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the summit host, where they agreed to pursue all options to impose further costs on Russia.

In the draft, G7 leaders also promised sanctions against entities that helped Russia circumvent sanctions on its oil by transporting it fraudulently.

Abortion wording row

The draft reiterated commitments made at the G7 meeting in Japan last year on sexual and reproductive rights but did not directly mention the word abortion.

The issue has caused a dispute between France and Italy after Rome — which holds the G7 rotating presidency — demanded the removal of a reference to “safe and legal abortion” from the final statement.

The pope will be joined by 10 other heads of state and government, including the prime minister of India and the king of Jordan, as the G7 throws open its doors to outsiders in an effort to show it is not an aloof, exclusive club.

Leaders will also discuss immigration, a crucial issue for Meloni who is pushing Europe to help her curb illegal flows from Africa and who has launched a flagship plan to boost development in the continent to tackle the root cause of the departures.

Many of the leaders, including Biden, will leave Italy late today, and Meloni said they had already agreed on the summit’s conclusions, to be approved at the end of the day.

Tomorrow, there will be room for bilateral meetings for those staying on, ahead of a final press conference from Meloni. — Reuters

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