G7 raises concern over China’s actions in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and South China Sea

London: Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries rebuked China on issues concerning Hong Kong, human rights violations in Xinjiang, and military build-up in South China Sea.

“We continue to be deeply concerned about human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and in Tibet, especially the targeting of Uyghurs, members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, and the existence of a large-scale network of “political re-education” camps, and reports of forced labour systems and forced sterilisation,” G7 ministers said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The leaders raised concerns about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas.

“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas. We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues,” the G7 ministers said.

The ministers reiterated their strong opposition to any “unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order and express serious concerns about reports of militarisation, coercion, and intimidation in the region”.

“We call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to end the targeting of those who defend rights and freedoms and democratic values, to uphold the independence of the judicial system and to ensure cases are not transferred to the mainland,” the statement said.

The leaders of G7 urged China to uphold its commitments to act responsibly in cyberspace, including refraining from conducting or supporting cyber-enabled intellectual property theft.

The ministers also supported Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly in a bid to strengthen global cooperation.