Tensions escalate as U.S.-manipulated G7 sparks confrontation

(Xinhua) 08:14, May 22, 2023

HIROSHIMA, Japan, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The Group of Seven (G7) ended its three-day gathering on Sunday in Hiroshima as crowds of protesters took to the streets against the U.S.-led bloc's latest steps to undermine world peace.

Analysts have said that absolute U.S. dominance only creates deeper cracks among the group and beyond. Unity and consensus were elusive during the G7 summit held in the western Japanese city.

The summit covered many topics but unfortunately ended with a focus on interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and hindering their development.


The G7 Hiroshima Leaders' Communique, which was rushed out on Saturday, spilled much ink on China, unwarrantedly depicting the country as a trouble-maker, only stopped short of directly naming it.

Japanese scholar Kazuteru Saionji found it absurd to demand China playing by international rules while the United States and some of its G7 partners are the major rule-breakers on the world stage. "In my opinion, it is better to return the exact same words to the G7," he told Xinhua.

"It is the United States and G7 nations that should take a responsible attitude and abide by international rules," said the visiting professor at Higashi Nippon International University.

A demonstrator holds a placard at Hiroshima's Funairi Daiichi Park in a protest against the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima, Japan, May 19, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

The joint statement and other documents adopted at the summit also contained comments on the Taiwan Strait and accusations regarding the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

China strongly deplores and firmly opposes the G7's attempts to smear and attack China and brazenly interfere in China's internal affairs and has objected to the summit's host, Japan, and other parties concerned, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Saturday.

"China's internal affairs should be solved by China itself. Intervention is a violation of international rules," said Saionji.

Days before and during the Hiroshima summit, U.S. government officials continually mentioned so-called "economic coercion" and "de-risking," alleging that the G7 leaders would adopt a unified approach by releasing "a statement on China."

"By dragging the G7 bloc to suppress China under the pretext of de-risking, the country is deliberately undermining free trade and the global economic division of labor system," said Saionji, who expressed the belief that the country is peddling imaginary threats in its own version of world order.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, the United States is the true coercer in weaponizing economic and trade relations through unilateral sanctions, decoupling efforts, and disrupting industrial and supply chains. The spokesperson urged the G7 to refrain from becoming an accomplice.


Local observers said that with significantly weakening economic heft, the G7 cannot represent the world. Yet, they still cling to a Cold War mentality and fail to acknowledge current global trends toward peace and stability.

A recent report from the International Monetary Fund showed that the contribution of BRICS countries to world economic growth has surpassed that of G7 nations, and the upward trend will continue in the foreseeable future.

The BRICS countries will guarantee 32.1 percent of world economic growth this year, compared to G7's 29.9 percent, according to the organization's estimates.

Atsushi Koketsu, emeritus professor at Yamaguchi University of Japan, said that with the international community moving toward pluralism, the G7 should take note.

"I believe the major developing countries will not act according to the United States. They hope for world peace and stability," said Saionji commenting on Japan's invitation for the so-called "Global South" nations to the summit.

People rally in a protest against the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima, Japan, May 20, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who holds the G7's rotating presidency, has been criticized for hosting the summit in Hiroshima, a city once devastated by U.S. atomic bombing, as a political stunt.

In the eyes of Saionji, raising the Taiwan question is an unwise move by Japan.

"The Taiwan question is one of China's internal affairs. U.S. intervention complicated the situation," said the scholar, adding that meddling in the Taiwan question will surely damage China-Japan relations.

Saionji believes East Asian countries are against creating regional tensions and provoking confrontation. Therefore, the United States and Japan's attempt to play the Taiwan card is doomed to fail.


Rallies and demonstrations against the U.S.-manipulated G7 were held for days at multiple locations across the nation.

Placards and banners, such as "U.S. out of Asia Pacific," "Crush the G7 Summit," "No War-themed Conference" and "Hands off on Ukraine," were seen at the demonstration on Sunday in downtown Hiroshima, where clashes between the police and protesters were reported.

Protesters rally at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in a protest against the Group of Seven (G7) summit, in Hiroshima, Japan, May 18, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

During the summit, G7 nations, with the United States taking the lead, vowed to escalate sanctions against Russia and intensify diplomatic, financial, humanitarian and military support for Ukraine in the leaders' communique.

"The U.S.-centered bloc's non-stop military support to Ukraine will only make a truce out of reach. I strongly condemn this kind of act," said Koketsu.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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