Front row, L-R: Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, US President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi pose for a family photo with other participants of the G7 summit during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / POOL / AFP
China has urged the Group of Seven leading economies to “stop making irresponsible remarks” after the G7 summit expressed concern about the situation in the East and South China Seas.
China has a dispute with Japan over small uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, while its claim to most of the South China Sea is challenged by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
In their closing communique in Italy on Saturday, G7 leaders said they “remain concerned about the situation” in the two seas and are “strongly opposed to any unilateral actions that could increase tensions”.
The text also urges “all parties to pursue demilitarisation of disputed features”.
A Chinese foreign ministry statement quoted by state media Monday said China was “strongly dissatisfied at the G7 summit gesticulating over the issues of the East and South China seas under the guise of international law”.
Sunday’s statement by ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing hopes the G7 and countries outside the region will “stop making irresponsible remarks and play a constructive role for regional peace and stability”.
The United States has criticised China’s reclamation of several reefs and islets in the South China Sea into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.
It sees the reclamation as a potential threat to freedom of navigation and overflight.