G7 not seeking to forge anti-China alliance: German source

The G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting opening session starts at International Conference Room of Toki Messe in Niigata, northern Japan. KIMIMASA MAYAMA/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan next week is not seeking to forge an alliance against China, though there is debate on implementing targeted controls on investments to the Asian giant, a German government source said on Thursday.

There was wide consensus that the focus of the summit should be on de-risking instead of decoupling economic investment from China and promoting alternatives to the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s massive trade and infrastructure project, the source said.

It was not immediately clear whether there would be a reference to “de-risking” in the final declaration.

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Any screening of investments in China would be designed in order not to affect wider economic relations but would target strategically important areas, the source said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is increasingly wary of China as a strategic rival as well as its largest trading partner and has considered a series of steps as it reassesses bilateral ties.

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Berlin late on Wednesday finally cleared plans by China’s Cosco to buy a minority stake in a container terminal of Hamburg’s port, overriding misgivings within the ruling coalition over allowing investment in a strategic asset.

Despite some blunt recent exchanges between Berlin and Beijing, diplomatic sources told Reuters that Germany has led calls urging caution against targeting China under new European Union sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Germany is critical of making the EU sanctions “extraterritorial” in a bid to fight circumvention, the first source said.

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