Asia Minute: China on the Agenda at G-7, NATO Meetings in Europe
China is not on the itinerary for President Joe Biden’s trip this week, but it’s certainly been on the agenda—and that’s drawing some reaction from the Beijing government.
A joint statement after the G-7 meeting called on China to, “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
China’s embassy in the United Kingdom immediately told the group to “stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests.”
China’s military development was the focus of part of the meeting of NATO—the 30-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The joint statement after that session noted that “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order.”
China’s mission to the European Union urged NATO to “view China’s development rationally” and “stop exaggerating various forms of ‘China threat theory.’”
While China remains a focus for government leaders around the world, membership in both G-7 and NATO does skew toward Europe and North America—after all, “Atlantic” is literally NATO’s middle name.
Other than the United States, the only member of NATO with a Pacific coast is Canada—and for G-7, it’s those two countries plus Japan.
And while Biden has held phone calls and a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, there’s still no word on when the two leaders will meet in person.