China, Russia lodge boisterous complaints over G7 joint statement

Posted on : 2023-05-22 17:09 KST Modified on : 2023-05-22 17:09 KST
The Group of Seven’s adoption of language regarding the status quo in the Indo-Pacific and reaffirming support for Ukraine prompted bitter backlash from China and Russia
Heads of state participating in the Group of Seven summit, which included non-members, sit down for their discussion on May 21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (AFP/Yonhap)
Heads of state participating in the Group of Seven summit, which included non-members, sit down for their discussion on May 21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (AFP/Yonhap)

Beijing and Moscow responded vehemently to a joint statement issued by the heads of state of Group of Seven member states on Saturday declaring their intent to “oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion” in the Indo-Pacific and to “reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine” in response to the war of aggression by Russia.

In a commentary responding to questions from reporters on Saturday evening, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that while the G7 leaders were making “high-sounding claims about ‘promoting a peaceful, stable and prosperous world,’” the effect of this was “hindering international peace, undermining regional stability and curbing other countries’ development.”

“That simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7,” it continued.

The response also stated that China “strongly deplores and firmly opposes” the approach.

“Despite China’s serious concerns, the G7 used issues concerning China to smear and attack China and brazenly interfere in China’s internal affairs,” it said.

Commenting specifically on the G7 countries’ perception of Taiwan as a key interest, the statement said, “Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese.”

“The G7 keeps emphasizing cross-Strait peace, and yet says nothing about the need to oppose ‘Taiwan independence.’ This in effect constitutes connivance and support for ‘Taiwan independence’ forces, and will only result in having a serious impact on cross-Strait peace and stability,” it added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it had signaled its diplomatic protest by filing a “serious démarches” with the countries in question, including the summit’s host Japan.

Russia also sent a strong message of protest.

At a general meeting of the Russian Council for Foreign and Defense Policy on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia has embarked on a path “of most dramatic confrontation with the aggressive bloc comprising the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance.”

Referring to the G7 leaders’ communique, Lavrov protested that its aim was the “dual containment” of Russia and China.

He went on to insist that Washington was using the Ukraine crisis to unite its camp, saying, “The objective was announced loudly and frankly, which is to defeat Russia on the battlefield, and without stopping at this, to eliminate it later as a geopolitical rival, so to speak, along with any other country that claims an independent place in the world, they will be suppressed as opponents.”

Addressing the meeting’s attendees, Lavrov called for a firm and consistent response to the declaration of war against Russia.

Previously, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko commented on the US and other countries’ supply of F-16s and other military firepower to Ukraine.

“We see that Western countries are still adhering to the escalation scenario. It involves colossal risks for themselves,” he was quoted as saying by the Russian Tass news agency.

“In any case, this will be taken into account in all our plans, and we have all the necessary means to achieve the goals we have set,” he also said.

By Noh Ji-won, Berlin correspondent

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