BEIJING: China’s embassy in London on Monday denounced a joint statement by the Group of Seven leaders as a gross interference in the country’s internal affairs, and urged the grouping to stop slandering China.
The G7 should do more that is conducive to promoting international cooperation instead of artificially creating confrontation and friction, it added.
G7 leaders on Sunday had scolded China over human rights in its Xinjiang region, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and demanded a full and thorough investigation of the origins of the coronavirus in China.
After discussing how to come up with a unified position on China, leaders issued a highly critical final communique that delved into what are for China some of the most sensitive issues, including also Taiwan.
The re-emergence of China as a leading global power is considered to be one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War.
China’s rise has also unnerved the United States: President Joe Biden casts China as the main strategic competitor and has vowed to confront China’s “economic abuses” and push back against human rights violations.
“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,” the G7 said.
The G7 also called for a transparent, expert-led Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including in China, to be convened by the World Health Organization (WHO). Reuters earlier reported the finalised version of the draft communique.
“We haven’t had access to the laboratories,” Biden told reporters.
Biden said it was not yet certain whether or not “a bat interfacing with animals and the environment… caused this COVID-19, or whether it was an experiment gone awry in a laboratory”.
Before the G7 criticism emerged, China pointedly cautioned G7 leaders that the days when “small” groups of countries decided the fate of the world were long gone. Reuters