Group of Seven Talks Get Tense Around China

Summit leaders divided on how to approach human rights abuses
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2021 12:20 PM CDT
At G7, Tensions on China Overshadow Infrastructure Plan
President Joe Biden, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a working session Saturday at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England.   (Brendan Smialowski/Pool Photo via AP)

Forced labor in China has become a hot-button issue at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, the AP reports. A US official speaking after a morning session said that the assembled leaders shared President Joe Biden's concern about the human rights and economic impact of the practice but differed around how to respond. During a particularly sensitive discussion, the Internet was shut off from the room, CNN reports. Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron want a tougher response to China. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders are looking for a cooperative solution.

Officials agreed that the G7 should establish an infrastructure initiative. A proposal called "Build Back Better for the World" suggests investing hundreds of billions of dollars in what the White House calls a “values-driven, high standard, and transparent” partnership, the Washington Post reports. The plan is to offer an alternative to China's trillion-dollar infrastructure initiative so countries in Africa and Asia can boost development with an eye to climate protection. More than 100 countries have agreed to work with China to build up their infrastructure.
(Read more Group of Seven stories.)

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