Australia Joins G7 Meeting To Discuss Increased China's Agression
Ministers examine ways of countering challenges from China and Russia without trying to contain Beijing or escalate tension with the Kremlin.
Australia's Foreign Minister Ms. Marise Payne is participating in the first post-pandemic meeting of the group of the most powerful democratic economies in London.
We will discuss critical issues on advancing open societies and promoting global democratic values. Our talks will also address how to ensure equitable vaccine access availability and the promotion of prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific, Ms. Payne said in the statement published after her plane landed on Heathrow.
It is not our purpose to try to contain China or to hold China down, U.S. President Joe Biden’s secretary of state, Mr. Antony Blinken told reporters on Monday ahead of the first in-person G7 foreign ministers meeting since 2019.
He said the West would defend “the international rules based order” from subversive attempts by any country, including China.
Communist China is the focus of discussions on Tuesday morning while afternoon talks will turn to Russia, including how to respond to a troop manoeuvres on the border with Ukraine and the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Mr. Alexei Navalny.
Founded in 1975 as a forum for the West’s richest nations to discuss crises such as the OPEC oil embargo, the G7 is debating responses to the two vast and increasingly assertive countries as well as the Wuhan virus pandemic and climate change.
"To bring together open, democratic societies and demonstrate unity"
Britain will seek to agree decisive action from G7 partners to protect democracies at a time when it says China’s economic influence and Russian malign activity threaten to undermine them.
The UK’s presidency of the G7 is an opportunity to bring together open, democratic societies and demonstrate unity at a time when it is much needed to tackle shared challenges and rising threats, British Foreign Secretary Mr. Dominic Raab said.
Longer term, there are deep concerns in both Washington and European capitals about how the West should act towards both Beijing and Moscow, which both argue that Western criticism is unjustified and counter-productive.
Blinken said the United States would prefer more stable ties with Russia but that much depended on how Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to act, especially in theatres such as Ukraine which Mr. Blinken will visit later this week.
We have reaffirmed our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Mr.Blinken said.
In addition to Australia, Britain has also invited ministers from India, South Africa and South Korea this week.