European Union leaders reportedly blocked attempts from the United States, Britain, and Canada to call out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the use of slave labour in Xinjiang.
EU leaders said that the West should focus on “cooperative” areas with China instead of adversarial elements.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and European Union leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel opposed efforts to publicly shame the regime in Bejing over forced labour in Xinjiang, The Times reported.
The summary of the G7 communiqué failed to mention China, Xinjiang, or Hong Kong at all and the full 25-page report of the summit’s agreements reportedly had a reference to Xinjiang slavery removed despite pushes from the Americans.
The final version of the G7 communiqué read: “We are concerned by the use of all forms of forced labour in global supply chains, including state-sponsored forced labour of vulnerable groups and minorities, including in the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors.”
A US administration official told the paper that reaching an agreement on China became “one of the more complicated and thorny” issues at the summit.
The 90-minute foreign policy meeting, which almost entirely consisted of discussions on China, saw the United States, the UK, Canada, Japan, and France seeking a harder line on China and the Europeans looking for a softer approach.
The unnamed official said that there was “a little bit of differentiation of opinion, not on whether the threat is there but on how strong, from an action perspective, different G7 members are willing to take this”.
G7 leaders did agree to mention Xinjiang and Hong Kong once in their 25-page report, which said: “We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.”