Nikkei wrote that China began on Thursday deliberating the controversial national security law for Hong Kong at the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The paper wrote that the unity of the G7 is being tested because the Xi government made the move despite the fact that the G7 foreign ministers issued a joint statement on Wednesday expressing “grave concern” over the legislation and strongly urging the government of China to reconsider the decision to introduce it.
The paper wrote that President Trump signed legislation on Wednesday for sanctions on Chinese officials involved in violating the human rights of Uighurs in Xinjiang. The paper wrote that there is concern in the United States that a lack of action on the issues of the Uighurs and the Hong Kong national security law could embolden China in its authoritarian approach. The paper speculated that the U.S. move on Uighur human rights and the G7 statement on Hong Kong ahead of the National People’s Congress discussions are intended to send a warning to Beijing. However, the paper added that since China is showing no signs of backing down, the G7 appears to have few options left. The paper also noted that the G7 is not completely united. Although the group’s statement was spearheaded by Japan with cooperation from Europe, these nations are not as eager as the United States to take tougher steps, such as sanctions.
All other national dailies also reported on the G7 statement and the U.S. legislation on Uighur human rights, with Sankei quoting Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga as telling reporters on Thursday that Japan welcomes the G7 statement as clearly expressing the grave concern of the group. Concerning Japan’s response to China, Suga said that Tokyo will urge Beijing to address the issue in a positive manner.