G7 Leaders Under Pressure From Lawmakers to Stand Tough on China

G7 Leaders Under Pressure From Lawmakers to Stand Tough on China
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) is seen during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, on Dec. 2, 2020. (Greg Nash/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Frank Fang

Nearly 70 lawmakers from the Group of Seven (G7) nations have signed a joint letter calling on their leaders to join together in taking a tough stance on China during the upcoming June summit.

“The threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party represent the greatest foreign policy challenges of our time. These threats affect not only our nation, but also our most trusted democratic allies around the world,” stated U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), according to a Jan. 25 statement from his office.
The letter was addressed to the current leaders of G7 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The G7 summit will be held from June 11 to June 13 in Carbis Bay, a seaside resort and village located in southwestern England.

“It is essential that all G7 democracies work together to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable to the freedoms which China has internationally agreed to and that has led the world since the conclusion of the Second World War,” Gonzalez added.

The effort behind the letter was led by Gonzalez and Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Germany’s Bundestag, the German parliament. Another 17 current and former American lawmakers were among the sponsors, including Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and Andy Barr (R-Ky.).

“China’s selective approach to international law and its aggressive foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific as well as increasingly on a global scale, are the main challenges to the international order,” Röttgen said, according to the statement.

He added: “In order to achieve a joint China strategy of the Free World, we all have to compromise, knowing that the protection of the freedoms which the international system has at its core, is worth it.”

In the letter, lawmakers called on G7 leaders to “unite around a plan of action that addresses internal and external PRC [People’s Republic of China] behavior which we consider contradictory to international standards.”

The letter identified several issues on which G7 nations should stand united against communist China, including technology standards, human rights, tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[T]he PRC has weakened international governance,” the letter said, pointing to how China “undermined” the World Health Organization (WHO) and “held back important information in the initial stages of the pandemic.”

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Evidence points to the virus having originated from China’s Wuhan city before spreading to countries and regions around the world.
China’s initial coverup of the virus outbreak has been well-documented. The CCP silenced eight doctors, among them ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, after the Chinese whistleblowers tried to warn the public of the deadly new form of pneumonia spreading in Wuhan.
The WHO initially parroted Beijing’s claim that the virus was not contagious, dismissing an email warning from Taiwan.

“To prepare and prevent future outbreaks, we believe that an independent investigation into the origins and spread of the virus is necessary,” the letter states.

Lawmakers also pointed to China’s oppression against Uyghurs and other minority groups in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, where an estimated one million Uyghurs are currently detained in internment camps.

On Jan. 19, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Beijing’s persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities constituted genocide and “crimes against humanity.”

“The PRC’s egregious violations of human rights demand a collective response by the G7 countries to hold the PRC accountable for its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities,” the letter added.

It also highlighted that democratic countries should not be dependent on China for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and next-generation wireless communications like 5G.

“A coordinated partnership amongst our countries to lead the development of these technologies and set global norms and standards for their use is thus essential to make full use of their potential without compromising our security and interests,” the letter said.

Beijing has rolled out industrial plans, such as “Made in China 2025” and “China Standards 2035,” in an effort to seek technology dominance.
In November last year, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced a bill (S.4901) to scrutinize China’s influence in setting global technology standards.