As the G-7 Summit begins in Hiroshima, China and Russia are on everyone’s mind

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A man rides his bicycle past a floral “G7 Hiroshima” sign at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit, on May 17, 2023. (Photo by Philip FONG/AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP) via Getty Images)

Philip Fong | Afp | Getty Images

The annual Group of 7 summit will officially begin on Friday in Hiroshima, Japan.

The leaders of the seven major industrial democracies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – will discuss the future of global relations and the world economy as of several months. -certainty: growing geopolitical tensions, central banks. ‘ fight against rising inflation and end the US debt.

Also in the spotlight are the countries that have been invited for the gathering, including Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Vietnam – countries with key roles in regional alliances such as the divide between Washington and Beijing deepens.

Leaders will gather in Hiroshima, the Japanese city that was destroyed by the first atomic bomb used by the US as a weapon of war in 1945, which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in World War II.

Nearly eight decades later, the city will welcome world leaders this week to discuss the way forward for international trade and security as the US and China battle it out. for victory in a multilateral world amid concerns about their separation, and the continuing war in Ukraine.

A sign of the Hiroshima G7 Summit is pictured in Hiroshima, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit, on May 16, 2023. (Photo by Philip FONG/AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

Philip Fong | Afp | Getty Images

The Group of 7, born to discuss policies to deal with the economic crisis of the 1970s, is meeting at a critical time of slowing global growth amid rising inflation.

G-7 finance leaders and central bankers wrapped up a three-day meeting in Niigata last week. They pledged to counter rising costs and ensure that expectations of future price movements remained “well anchored”.

“If you think about what’s happening in world politics…

“These are superpowers on the nuclear issue – and so, I think Hiroshima represents a very poignant reminder of the need to deal with these issues and a similar outcome.” avoid,” Solis said.

Conflict between Ukraine and Russia

Also present at the summit will be the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is expected to attend the meeting soon.

Additional sanctions against Russia are also expected to be announced in Hiroshima.

“There will be discussions about the sanctions situation and the steps that the G7 will collectively commit to in terms of enforcement,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One.

The measures will focus on “ensuring that we are closing evasion networks, closing loopholes in the sanctions so that the impact is amplified and enhanced in the coming months,” he said. .

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“The US will have a package of sanctions related to the G-7 statement that will be based on this enforcement issue,” he told reporters.

The European Union is also discussing a new wave of sanctions to cut off Russia from finance and technologies “to restart its war machine,” EU commissioner for financial stability Margaret McGuiness told CNBC in April.

Do not underestimate Russia's efforts to avoid sanctions, the EU official says

Russia’s attack on neighboring Ukraine can also be discussed at the trilateral summit when the leaders of the US, Japan, and South Korea meet on the sidelines of the G-7 meetings.

South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol faced sharp criticism from the Kremlin after he said in an interview with Reuters that he could be open to possible military aid to Ukraine.

The three leaders are expected to discuss closer security cooperation, including a stronger nuclear deterrent as a result of increased provocations from North Korea.

One look at China

China is also seen as positioning itself as a peace broker as the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia pose a “daunting challenge” for Beijing, analysts told CNBC.

The meeting comes as China this week delivered disappointing data in what was expected to signal a more significant recovery after emerging from its strict Covid restrictions.

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China’s recovery momentum is seen to be running out of steam, with the likes of Nomura downgrading its full-year growth forecast for the economy from 5.9% to 5.5%.

“As disillusionment sets in, we see an increasing risk of slower activity growth, rising unemployment, persistent deflation, falling market interest rates, and a weaker currency, ” wrote Nomura’s chief economist in China, Ting Lu.

He said a “lack of confidence among consumers and business investors” was behind the decline.

More tension

Geopolitical tensions with the US are overshadowing China’s growth outlook as well as raising fears about global supply chains.

US President Joe Biden is also expected to announce an executive order to restrict investment by US companies in China.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters at the G-7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors that the US is looking at measures to counter China’s use of “economic coercion” against countries another.

Biden confirmed that he will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the near future, but he was short of giving a specific timeline as to when the meeting will take place.

“Whether it will be soon or not, but we will meet,” he said in response to a question about his plans to meet with Xi.

A White House official said that the possible meeting should be marked in person and that officials are actively evaluating whether it can happen before the end of the year.

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