Zelenskiy joins Japan G7 as democracies take aim at Russia and China

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy brought his call for support against Russia’s invasion to a Group of Seven (G7) summit on Saturday to Japan, where leaders agreed to tighten sanctions against Moscow and pare back exposure to China.

The Ukrainian president’s attendance at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, the first city to suffer a nuclear attack, put in sharp relief western concerns over the nuclear threat posed by Russia.

Leaders of the G7 – the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – are grappling with the challenges posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tensions with China, notably over economic security and Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.

Worried by the outsized role China now plays in supply chains for everything from semiconductors to critical minerals, the G7 issued a communique that set out a common strategy towards future dealings with the world’s second-largest economy.

“We call on China to press Russia to stop its military aggression, and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine,” the leaders said in a statement.

They warned that countries attempting to use trade as a weapon would face “consequences”, sending a strong signal to Beijing over practices Washington says amount to economic bullying.

“We are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognise that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying,” they said. “A growing China that plays by international rules would be of global interest.”