Russia sanctions, China concern and nuclear threat to be key talking points at G-7 summit

DailyBiteMay 19, 2023 | 13:22

Russia sanctions, China concern and nuclear threat to be key talking points at G-7 summit

The G-7 leaders from United States, Japan, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and the European Union are in Hiroshima for the summit.

The G-7 leaders -- United States, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and the European Union -- are holding their annual meeting in Hiroshima, Japan starting today (May 19).

The 49th G-7 summit, which will end on May 21, will also be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.

The summit of the powerful nations is usually seen as an event where global leaders discuss the pressing issues and try to uphold the international order.


Though there are many important issues that will be discussed during the 3-day summit, the focus is going to be on Russia and China.


Fresh sanctions on Russia

As Russia's relentless attacks on Ukranian cities continues, it is expected that on the first day of the summit, the G-7 nations will impose fresh sanctions against Russia.

AN US official told the Associated Press that said the US would blacklist about 70 Russian and third-country entities involved in Russia's defense production, and sanction more than 300 individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels. Other G-7 nations are also expected to announce similar steps to further isolate Russia.

The Financial Times reported that the new sanctions will cover ships, aircraft, individuals and diamonds. Curtailing imports of diamonds from Russia will target one of Moscow's few remaining export industries that has not been affected since the war in Ukraine started.


China concern

China's rising economic and military might has always been a concern for the West. But now China's military buildup in the region and its stance on Taiwan has started to worry Japan also. Japanese PM Kishida in December promised to double Tokyo's military budget. And with Japan hosting the summit, the China issue is going to be one of the most important discussions in Hiroshima.


However, not all G-7 nations will be as united on the China issue as they are on Russia. The reason is China's economic coercion. China's economic coercion refers to the use of economic means and leverage by the Chinese government to achieve political or strategic objectives. Critics argue that China's tactics may undermine free and fair trade principles, distort global markets, and infringe upon the sovereignty and autonomy of other nations.

Over the past two years, US President Joe Biden's administration has sought to reframe the relationship with Beijing and build support among like-minded nations. At a summit this week in Hiroshima, US officials say they expect leaders of the G-7 to jointly endorse a unified strategy on "economic coercion" of China, reported AP.

Push for nuclear disarmament

An estimated 140,000 people were killed on August 6, 1945, when a US Army Air Force B-29 bomber dropped a single atomic bomb over the city oh Hiroshima. Japanese PM Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in parliament, wants nuclear disarmament to be a major focus of G-7 discussions, and he formally started the summit at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park on Friday.

As Russia has talked about the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, North Korea continues to do several sophisticated missiles tests every year, and Iran is move towards developing its own nuclear weapons, talks to nuclear disarmament makes sense.


There are nine countries that are known or believed to have nuclear weapons. Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel (has not officially confirmed or denied the possession of nuclear weapons) and North Korea possess an estimated total of roughly 13,000 nuclear weapons.


Not just G-7, but a G-15 summit

The G-7 summit this year has 15 countries as hosts Japan invited India, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Comoros (representing the African Union) and the Cook Islands (representing the Pacific Islands Forum) to be a part of the annual event.

The reason why eight other nations have been invited to the summit is that economic might of the G-7 is waning and they need new influential and powerful friends. In 1990, the group accounted for just over half of the world's GDP, but now it's just under 30%, reported the BBC quoting the International Monetary Fund.

The hosts Japan doesn't just want a Western coalition but a global united front against Russia's attack on Ukraine and China's military buildup in the Indo-Pacific region.

India at G-7 summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be in Hiroshima for the G-7 summit from May 19 to May 21. He is expected to speak on global challenges, including food, fertiliser and energy security.

In his departure statement, PM Modi said his presence at the summit is "particularly meaningful" as India is holding the G20 presidency this year.

"I look forward to exchanging views with the G-7 countries and other invited partners on challenges the world faces and the need to collectively address them," he said

PM Modi will also hold bilateral meetings with the leaders attending the G-7 summit.

Last updated: May 19, 2023 | 13:22
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