Beijing tells G7 to stick to economics
“We hope the G7 will focus on urgent economic and financial matters,” said Wang Yi, stressing that China didn’t welcome anything that escalate tension in the region.
The comment came as European Council President Donald Tusk said the group should take a “clear and tough stance” on China’s contested maritime claim.
“The test of our credibility at the G7 is our ability to defend the common values that we share,” Mr. Tusk told AFP on the sidelines of the summit in Japan.
Last month, foreign ministers from the group criticized China’s island building activities in the South China Sea. The issue might be raised during the summit.
Kyodo: Sources say @g7 leaders this week to express “strong opposition” to island construction, militarization of outposts in S. China Sea.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 25, 2016
“We are concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas, and emphasize the fundamental importance of peaceful management and settlement of disputes,” the G7 ministers said in a joint statement in April.
Chinese officials are worried that Japan and the US may use the summit to further isolate Beijing over its position in the region.
The Chinese media have strongly reacted to the comments made by G7 members.
The G7, which does not include Beijing, “should mind its own business rather than pointing fingers at others”, reports China's official Xinhua news agency.
China — not part of the G7 — advises the Group of Seven countries to avoid "applying double standards" https://t.co/hGeQVhfeqh— SCMP News (@SCMP_News) May 26, 2016
The agency accuses Japan of attempting to overuse its G7 summit host status and win over more “allies and sympathizers” to isolate China.
“Japan's hidden agenda: to meddle in the South China Sea issue,” reports Xinhua.
Beijing has upset several Southeast Asian neighbors by claiming most of the disputed sea territory and building artificial islands capable of basing military planes.