The G7’s new mission appears to be irritating China. As the leaders of the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Canada gathered for their annual summit last week, Beijing made clear they had no business involving themselves in territorial disputes in the South China Sea. “We hope the G7 will focus on urgent economic and financial matters,” aspokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said ahead of the Ise-Shima Summit. “We do not want to see actions escalate tensions in the region.”
So what did the G7 do? It involved itself in the dispute over who controls various rocks in the South China Sea. Leaders endorsed the statement by G7 foreign ministers on maritime security that toughened the group’s stand against Beijing’s push into those waters, although without naming China specifically. “We are concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas, and emphasize the fundamental importance of peaceful management and settlement of disputes,” the G7 said in its communique.
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