Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, has announced that the Group of Seven (G7) members are discussing ways to respond to China’s use of “economic coercion” against other countries. Speaking at a press conference in Niigata, Japan, ahead of the G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, Yellen expressed the US’s concern about China’s activities and its intention to impose specific limitations on outbound investment to China. She also stated that the US has been discussing the matter with its G7 colleagues.

G7 Members’ Concerns on China’s Activities

Yellen revealed that many G7 members share a common concern about China’s “economic coercion” and are exploring ways to counter such behavior. The G7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, with the European Union as a non-enumerated member. However, the US has not formulated a definitive plan of action yet, and Yellen emphasized that any action by the US would be “narrowly scoped and targeted at technologies where there are clear national security implications.”

Focus on National Security

Yellen clarified that any action taken by the US would be national security-focused, and it would not aim to undermine China’s economic competitiveness or its ability to advance economically. She suggested that some restrictions on outbound investment would complement existing measures in the US to protect its national security, such as inbound investment reviews and export controls.

In conclusion, Yellen stated that the G7 would “advance our work to mitigate geostrategic risks in our economies,” and the US would take narrowly targeted actions when necessary. The G7 meeting’s key focus, according to Yellen, is to counter economic coercion, which is also a focus of Japan’s presidency.

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