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G7 chides China on rights, demands COVID origins investigation

Coronavirus Jun 13, 2021 11:11AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

By Guy Faulconbridge and Steve Holland

CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) -Group of Seven leaders on Sunday 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.

The G7 also underscored "the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues".

"We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions," they said.

FORCED LABOUR

Biden said democracies were in a global contest with "autocratic governments", and that the G7 had to deliver viable alternatives.

"We're in a contest, not with China per se, ... with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century," Biden told reporters.

"As I've told (Chinese President) Xi Jinping myself, I'm not looking for conflict. Where we cooperate, we'll cooperate; where we disagree I'm going to state this frankly, and we are going to respond to actions that are inconsistent."

The G7 - comprising the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada - said it was concerned about forced labour in global supply chains including in the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors.

Beijing has repeatedly hit back against what it perceives as attempts by Western powers to contain China. It says many major powers are still gripped by an outdated imperial mindset after years of humiliating China.

U.N. experts and rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang in northwest China.

China denies all accusations of forced labour or abuse. It initially denied the camps existed, but has since said they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism. In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had "graduated".

G7 chides China on rights, demands COVID origins investigation
 

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Comments (28)
janmohan mohapatra
janmohan mohapatra Jun 13, 2021 9:11PM ET
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only panacea of Chinese is to boycott, boycott
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Jun 13, 2021 9:11PM ET
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The western countries would have done so, if they could afford to boycott China. China economy and resources now is too big to be ignored.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jun 13, 2021 5:27PM ET
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G7 partners with China to oust Trump. Then turns against China. Cool.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jun 13, 2021 4:19PM ET
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America is the most benevolent, philanthropic, generous and advanced nation the world has ever known. No amount of ccp paid trolls can ever change that. The reason you all try so hard to convince others otherwise is because you know it’s true, and you know you have zero liberty living under your oppressive regime. No amount of cheating, lying and stealing will ever set you free. Have fun with this reality you all know full well is your reality. Oppression and the acceptance of it is genetic. It’s what you need to “survive”.
David David
David9 Jun 13, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Please give us the news you have been reading, it is very interesting for us to know how one person became brainwashed... we waiting...
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jun 13, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Jun 13, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Silence Good.,... either you are cheating yourself or you are being cheated.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 13, 2021 4:19PM ET
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what's the matter David9, feeling depressed; worried the g7 going to go after China for crimes they have committedagainst humanity the thievery, the lies. the Democracies are planning for any confrontation with China. David that could be a problem for you and China. from your posts so far the whirlpool action of China's brainwashing program on you and your fellow Chinese citizens, seems to have worked very well. but now, there seems to some desperation in your posts. poor fellow that sense of Chinese arrogance is changing to confusion.
David Bologa
David Bologa Jun 13, 2021 3:28PM ET
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It started from america, then with the military olympics it spread to china. JUST SEARCH
Chong Wee Jye
Chong Wee Jye Jun 13, 2021 3:28PM ET
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the scientist from European countries found covid-19 virus in the sewage plant treatment before pandemic start at China.
David Bologa
David Bologa Jun 13, 2021 3:28PM ET
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bruh explain then why they had the same symthomps and they had quarantine too
Diet Market
MarketLeader Jun 13, 2021 2:52PM ET
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US has nation wide Gun violence,  Black life matter/ Asian Hate Crime/ White Supremacy, Biden does not fix those issues and keeps on Trump's path to rage war on China because it just needs an excuse to abuse other countries for its inability to innovate and grow internally.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jun 13, 2021 2:52PM ET
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nope, you’re not a troll..
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Jun 13, 2021 2:52PM ET
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Biden needs to incline to the popular view to stay in power no matter the view is right or wrong. That's how weatern democracy works nowadays.
Wil PCH
Wil PCH Jun 13, 2021 12:52PM ET
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Don't forget they cam spy on Merkel, they can spy on G7
David David
David9 Jun 13, 2021 11:40AM ET
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G stands for Gorilla, using algebra... these G7 thinks they can make decision for the whole world... from the Alaska meeting, China was right that the world now is in a global intermingle stage, so it is not wise for a small group to make decision for the vast many...
Nam Soo Hoo
Nam Soo Hoo Jun 13, 2021 11:06AM ET
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if usa is so great why they have so many homeless people, gun shots, crimes, racism, so many people need help from government? after changing so many presidency, all these problem remain unresolved. I doesn't serve as world leader anymore.
Tyler Higgins
pekas13 Jun 13, 2021 11:06AM ET
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At least we are free to change our President unlike the life term weenie pooh president china has.
Jonathan Sim
Jonathan Sim Jun 13, 2021 10:05AM ET
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again........ all about anti-china, one week later it's outdated news without any impact. G7 is done and over. Well wishes to the rest of the world.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:53AM ET
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History shows China Han is racist. China always dream to become the biggest, #1 country. The Han keep expanding, k/i/ll or enslave others people. The real Chinese is Han. Other minorities were assimilated by forced.
Nam Soo Hoo
Nam Soo Hoo Jun 13, 2021 9:53AM ET
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history also show that usa always invade other countries and have the highest military budget in the world. who is the killer? use your own brain.
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Jun 13, 2021 9:53AM ET
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And what Australia and Canada did with the original tribe of their land? How dare they point their finger on China. China is developing Xinjiang and its people, not abusing them.
 
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