Hiroshima, Japan – United States President Joe Biden has arrived for a Group of Seven summit set to be dominated by Russia’s war on Ukraine and concerns about China’s rising power and influence.
During the talks in Hiroshima, Biden is expected to rally the G7 countries to increase pressure on Moscow to end the war in Ukraine and join his administration’s efforts to push back against Beijing.
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Biden held bilateral talks with the summit’s host, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, on Thursday evening ahead of the opening of the three-day event.
Kishida will officially welcome the G7 leaders on Friday at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which marks the site of the first detonation of an atomic bomb.
The members of the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US – are expected to announce new sanctions against Russia and measures to tackle economic coercion by China during the high-profile annual gathering, which will also be attended online by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The club of wealthy democracies is also expected to discuss nuclear disarmament, artificial intelligence, climate change, economic security and improved cooperation with developing countries, among other issues.
While the G7 is expected to raise pressure on Moscow and Beijing, there are divisions among countries about how far punitive measures should go.
Japan and European countries are seen as reluctant to slash trade with Russia and China to the extent favoured by Washington.
Japan and European countries last month shot down a US proposal to effectively ban Russian exports outright because they considered it unrealistic, the Financial Times reported.
European diplomats have also reportedly raised concerns about proposals to permanently shut down natural gas pipelines that Russia turned off after its invasion of Ukraine last year.
Biden is attending the G7 summit after he canceled planned visits to Papua New Guinea and Australia in order to return to the US early to attend negotiations with Congress about raising the US government’s debt ceiling.