Leaders of the Group of Seven nations agreed yesterday to send a strong message regarding maritime disputes in the East and South China seas, where China is locking horns with Japan and its Southeast Asian neighbours.
The pledge by the seven economic powers, whose leaders are meeting in Japan, came after China warned the bloc against engaging in talks that might worsen tensions in the South China Sea.
G7 members must take an “impartial and fair position instead of applying double standards or the mindset of alliances”, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “We don’t want to see discussions or actions that might exacerbate tensions in the region.”
The seven heads of state from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States started their two-day summit in a mountainous region about 300km southwest of Tokyo yesterday.
The global economy topped the agenda, with the leaders calling for flexible spending to spur world growth and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making a pointed comparison to the 2008 global financial crisis. The global refugee crisis is also on the agenda.