The leaders of the G-7, gathered in Hiroshima (Japan), yesterday directly urged China to pressure Russia to immediately stop its aggression in Ukraine and to withdraw completely from all the occupied territory.
The largest war on European territory since 1945 and the difficult relationship with an increasingly powerful China remained the two major geopolitical issues addressed by the leaders of the seven richest democracies on the planet. The meeting was joined by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who arrived in the Japanese city, coming from Saudi Arabia, in an official plane lent by the French Government.
In a forty-page communique, the leaders of the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan - in addition to the top EU officials - explained their common position on multiple international affairs, from of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the situation in Syria and the challenges posed by Iran and North Korea. The G-7 also undertook to ensure financial stability in view of dangers such as those generated by operations with cryptocurrencies and to monitor and regulate the use of artificial intelligence. Regarding the climate emergency, they reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreement on a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius in temperature increase. In a sign of the times, the declaration included a section defending gender equality and condemning abuse and discrimination, also against LGBTI groups.
In the political sphere, however, the mentions of Ukraine and China were the most relevant due to their serious implications for global security. The G-7 not only called on China to force Russia to stop the war and withdraw from it, but also appealed to Beijing to promote peace based on respect for Ukraine's territorial integrity.
The Seven did not forget to remind Beijing that they are concerned about human rights violations within their borders, in Tibet and Xinjiang. Summit participants warned of the importance of preserving peace in Taiwan and warned that "there is no legal basis for Beijing's expansionist maritime claims" and "militarization activities" in the South China Sea.
One of the objectives of Zelenski's presence in Hiroshima, in addition to the image blow it means for the leader of a country at war, is to try to convince the emerging countries invited to the summit (India, Indonesia and Brazil) so that they abandon, even partially, a neutrality or equidistance that makes the game for Putin. He tried to do the same thing on Friday at the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia.
Although an optimistic Macron told Volodymyr Zelenskiy that his trip to Hiroshima can "change the situation" in the war because of the international impact favorable to Kyiv, his presence was not well received by all. The Brazilian delegation, irritated, spoke of "cheating", since they did not know that the Ukrainian president would appear in Hiroshima. Given that Lula claims a mediating role, the Brazilian president felt uncomfortable at the prospect of being forced into a meeting and photo with Zelenski that, at the time of going to press, had not taken place.