DINARD, France — Foreign ministers from seven leading industrialized nations will likely express concern about human rights problems in China in a joint statement after their meeting here, in light of charges related to the ongoing repression of ethnic minorities.
The statement by Group of Seven diplomats will also voice opposition to large-scale Chinese island-building in the South China Sea, on the grounds that it is raising regional tensions, and include a rejection of unfair economic practices such as intellectual property violations.
France, as the host nation, is playing a central role in hammering out the details. The meeting kicked off Friday and will run through Saturday. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not attending, with Washington instead represented by Deputy Secretary John Sullivan.
Friday’s agenda includes a working session on “responsible behavior of states in cyberspace,” and the joint statement is expected to include calls for a stronger response to cyberattacks believed to be sponsored by countries such as China and Russia.
Ministers will also discuss concerns about potential spying through Chinese products — an issue the U.S. has warned about with regard to telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies.
Attendees will look to ensure they are on the same page regarding North Korea, which has continued its nuclear and missile development since the failed second summit in February between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump. Japan seeks to confirm that sanctions will be maintained until complete denuclearization is achieved.