The United States, the EU and other wealthy Group of Seven democracies on Saturday urged Beijing to “resolutely” urge Russia to stop the war in Ukraine, adding to previous warnings against economic or military assistance to the Kremlin.
The call came after China failed to echo what French President Emmanuel Macron claimed was a shared goal with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding a “ceasefire” in Ukraine. Beijing made no mention of the message after Tuesday’s call, as it continued to criticize the West for sending weapons to Ukraine.
In a lengthy statement released after a meeting in Germany, G7 foreign ministers sent an unusually tough message to China, calling for peace and stability in Taiwan amid diplomatic fears about increased Chinese military pressure on the self-governing island.
Beijing’s “no-holds-barred” partnership with Moscow, concluded weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, has alarmed Western countries over whether China could undermine the effect of its sanctions on Russia. China has repeatedly said it does not consider the sanctions to be legitimate, adding that it would carry out normal business activities with Russia.
“We encourage China to support, in accordance with international law, Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and the integrity of its internationally recognized borders and to resolutely urge Russia to stop its military aggression against Ukraine,” the G7 statement read. .
“We urge China not to assist Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine, not to undermine the sanctions imposed on Russia for its attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, not to justify Russian action in Ukraine and to desist from engaging in manipulation of information, disinformation and other means to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” he said, although he did not specify what consequences could follow.
The G7 is made up of the United States, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and the EU.
The group also called on China to “act responsibly” in cyberspace, “refrain from conducting or supporting cyber-intellectual property theft for commercial gain.”
With UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet scheduled to visit Xinjiang later this month, the G7 urges Chinese authorities to “allow immediate, meaningful and unrestricted access to Xinjiang and Tibet for independent observers, including the High Commissioner of UN for Human Rights and its potential visit to China”. Beijing has maintained an arrogant approach to Uighur Muslims in the region, including sending them to re-education camps.