UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that China poses the biggest challenge to the global security and prosperity of our age with the means and intent to reshape the world order. Speaking from a peace centre in Hiroshima, Sunak went further than the G7 summit statement in outlining the threat that China poses to the world, appearing to rank it even higher than Russia as a global security threat.
The G7 nations, including Japan, the US, Canada, and European nations, have shown unity and resolve in confronting the problems posed by Beijing. The statement from the G7 nations referred to “de-risking” rather than “de-coupling” from their relationship with China amid warnings from France that the summit should not be seen as being anti-Beijing.
Sunak said, “We will work together as the G7 and other countries make sure that we can de-risk ourselves and the vulnerability of supply chains that we have seen from China, take the steps necessary to protect ourselves against hostile investment and do so in a way that doesn’t damage each other.”
The G7 nations issued a critical statement on Beijing and agreed to set up a new body to counter “economic coercion” by China and others. However, there were no specific actions to deal with Beijing’s increasing belligerence towards Taiwan beyond saying that the nations “strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.”
Sunak was also questioned on whether the G7 nations had done enough to address the challenge of China. In response, Sunak said he disagreed there was no material action, saying it had partly been about “just recognizing the systemic challenge that China poses to the world order – it is the only country with both the means and intent to reshape the world order.”
He added that there had also been “conversations about ensuring that important technology pertinent to our security does not leak to China.”
In conclusion, China’s increasing economic and military power poses a significant challenge to the global security and prosperity of our age. The G7 nations have shown unity and resolve in confronting the problems posed by Beijing, but more needs to be done to address the systemic challenge that China poses to the world order.