Blinken dismisses reports of G-7 divisions over China
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday pushed back against reports of tension among G-7 leaders over China.
“What we have is largely agreement on the need to offer a much more attractive alternative to the model that China is proposing for the world.” Blinken said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And the communique coming out of this summit is going to reflect that.”
Blinken, who is traveling with President Biden, also noted that China was not mentioned during the last G-7 summit in 2018.
“But here we have a commitment to work together on something called ‘Build Back Better’ for the world to work on pooling of investments, pooling funds, bringing the private sector into make investments in health and infrastructure, in technology for low- and middle-income countries in a way that will produce new markets for all products and also a much more attractive alternative to what China is trying to do in these countries,” he said.
Blinken added that the G-7 summit, which concludes on Sunday, may be “the most consequential one I’ve ever taken part in.”
“This is one that actually demonstrated that democracies coming together can deliver in concrete ways for their people and for people around the world.”
On reported tension between Pres. Biden and world leaders at the G7 summit on countering China’s global infrastructure initiatives, Sec. of State Antony Blinken tells @MarthaRaddatz: “What we have is largely agreement.” https://t.co/bRcR04cdtm pic.twitter.com/UyG3YXcVCb
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 13, 2021
During a separate appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Blinken said the relationship with China is “complicated” for “virtually all of the G7 countries.”
He added that the G-7 leaders must be unified and “deal with China” from a position of strength.
Biden and some G-7 allies have pushed for a tougher approach to Beijing, but have reportedly faced resistance from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and others who are reluctant to take an aggressive approach and prefer seeking out areas of economic cooperation with China.
In a shot at China, G-7 leaders on Sunday announced their commitment to cutting forced labor practices out of global supply chains.
“The United States and our G7 partners remain deeply concerned by the use of all forms of forced labor in global supply chains, including state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities and supply chains of the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors — the main supply chains of concern in Xinjiang,” the White House said in a release ahead of a G-7 communique, referencing a Chinese territory where Beijing’s treatment of the minority population has been described as a genocide.
“Leaders agreed on the importance of upholding human rights and of international labor standards, and committed to protect individuals from forced labor,” the White House statement added.
–Mychael Schnell and Brett Samuels contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:01 a.m.
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