Beijing—China is extremely dissatisfied with a statement by Group of Seven (G7) leaders on the contentious South China Sea, where Beijing is locked in territorial disputes with several Southeast Asian countries, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a regular briefing.
China is not in the G7 club but its rise as a global power has put it at the heart of some discussions at the advanced nations´ summit in Ise-Shima, central Japan.
G7 leaders agreed on Thursday to send a strong message on maritime claims in the western Pacific.
Beijing swiftly launched a stinging broadside against the group – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US – which it said should not pursue “selfish interests”.
“G7 should focus on its own duties, that is economic cooperation, it should not point fingers at something outside its portfolio,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
The Xinhua news agency, Beijing’s official mouthpiece, reinforced the point with a blunt commentary that said the group “should mind its own business” and accused Japan of exploiting its host status to try to isolate China. The neighbours have a long history of tempestuous relations.
The sputtering global economy took centre stage in formal talks, although divisions seem likely to remain over whether the world should spend or save its way out of the malaise, with Japan and Germany at odds on the issue.
There were some “heated exchanges” among G7 leaders on the issue of refugees, a senior Japanese government official said on condition of anonymity. That came after European Council’s Tusk said the world needs to act together and not leave everything at Europe’s door.
“We are aware that it is because of geography that the most responsibility is, and will continue to be, placed on Europe,” Tusk told reporters. “However we would also like the global community to show solidarity and recognise that this is a global crisis.”
Merkel said fresh funds to tackle the problem were unlikely, but added that “we all agree that we have to do everything to fight the causes that make people flee”.
Last year, some 1.3 million refugees, mostly from conflict-ridden Syria and Iraq, asked for asylum in the European Union – more than a third of them in Germany.