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Asia Minute: Asia-Pacific ranks high on meeting agendas in Europe

Germany G7 Biden 2022
Kenny Holston/AP
Pool The New York Times
U.S. President Joe Biden, center, attends a working lunch with other G7 leaders to discuss shaping the global economy. Clockwise from left, Fumio Kishida (covered), Prime Minister of Japan, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of France, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom sit at the first working session in Castle Elmau, in Elmau, Germany, Sunday, June 26, 2022. (Kenny Holston/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

Ukraine has been a topic of international gatherings in Europe this week. But from the G-7 leaders meeting in Germany to the NATO summit in Spain, the Asia-Pacific is also a big part of the conversation.

Four participants in the NATO summit have home waters far from the North Atlantic.

This is the first NATO summit for the leaders of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea — and China is one uniting concern.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the group Wednesday that the Beijing government has “become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms.”

Earlier this week, the joint statement from the G-7 summit urged members to “confront China’s unfair economic practices.”

It was also critical of China’s support of Russia.

NATO leaders called China a “challenge” — in part because of its “deepening strategic partnership” with Russia — and their “mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order.”

One development this week not directly involving China may also have a lingering regional impact.

For the first time in five years, the leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea met together in person.

The immediate point of shared interest relates to developments in North Korea.

For Japan and South Korea, the longer-term challenge remains security and economic relations with China — and political relations with each other.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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