Ahead of Tuesday's Group of Seven summit foreign ministers say a joint response to China is crucial. But U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the G-7 is initiating a "Cold War."
G-7 Will Address Human Rights Issues In Unison
Foreign ministers within the G-7 circle have dedicated more time to discussing how the group will address China as it continues to grow in power and influence.
Ahead of Tuesday's meeting, Blinken said it was not the G-7's "purpose to try to contain China or to hold China down."
China has been rising economically and politically with the country growing its influence in countries such as South Africa and the Latin American region, political watchers say.
Human rights and protection of democracy have become the central topics among Western nations seeking to address China's expansion - and some observers have suggested international intervention may trigger war.
Blinken, however, said in an interview with Financial Times' editor Roula Khalaf that a union between G-7 countries in addressing China "is not about initiating Cold War."
The American diplomat said the U.S. and its G-7 allies were just "doing our part" to ensure that democracy was retained where needed and the needs of the people are met.
Maas: We're All In This Together
Echoing Blinken's statements, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said G-7 ministers agreed "it is far more effective if we raise issues like human rights or freedom of the (news media) together."
U.S.-China relations deteriorated during the administration of President Donald Trump - but China appears to have a better relationship with Germany.
In 2019, China retained its position as Germany's largest trading partner for four consecutive years. Economic relations also appear to be better compared with China's economic ties with the U.S.
Still, the differences are apparent. The Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. issue encouraged Germany to regulate information technology systems.
Maas' comments may also be a point of tension between the two nations as Germany appears to be leaning more and more toward its western allies.
Is The West Misunderstanding China?
As more eyes turn on the G-7 and how it will respond to China's growing influence and economics, some observers suggest Western nations may be misunderstanding China's strategies.
For China and most of its people, an authoritarian government is legitimate, effective and doesn't hamper economic growth. The West, on the other hand, believes that democracy is the key to growth and influence, observers are saying.