UPDATE 1-White House says G7 will align on shared ‘de-risk, not decouple’ approach to China

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By Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason

HIROSHIMA, Japan, May 20 (Reuters) – The Group of Seven (G7) rich nations will issue a statement on a shared approach on China, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said early on Saturday, adding that G7 members were looking to ” de-risk, not decouple” from China.

Sullivan said the G7 leaders planned to outline steps to protect sensitive technology, including outbound investment measures, in their joint statements or communiques.

“The communique will note that each country has its own independent relationship and approach, but we are united and aligned around a set of common elements,” Sullivan told reporters at the summit in Hiroshima, Japan, referring to the group’s plans to cooperate with China while addressing significant concerns in a range of areas.

Sullivan said nothing in the G7 joint statement should come as a surprise to China, given that the concerns of G7 members were “well known” to Beijing.

“I think you will find the Chinese language to be totally straightforward. It is not hostile or gratuitous. It is just direct and candid,” Sullivan said, adding that the statement emerged after intensive consultations with G7 partners in recent years.

He said the United States expected economic engagement to continue with China, but was still working through the timing regarding planned phone calls, visits and meetings for various administration officials with their Chinese counterparts.

In an early draft of the final communique, seen by Reuters, G7 leaders agreed that China’s status as the world’s second-largest economy required efforts to foster cooperation.

“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, we do not seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” said the draft, which is still subject to change, calling for “stable and constructive” ties with Beijing.

Sullivan said the G7 leaders would outline a common set of tools to address economic coercion, including steps to build more resilient supply chains and efforts to protect sensitive technologies through export controls and outbound investment measures.

Each country would determine its own approach, he said.

The United States had been working to develop the legal authorities for a targeted set of outbound investment controls and would lay out its approach after “full consultations” with G7 partners, Sullivan said. (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason; writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler and William Mallard)

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