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Trump's G7 invitation to South Korea, Australia draws response from China

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he seeks to invite South Korea, Australia, India and Russia to this year’s G7 summit. File Photo by Ettore Ferrari/EPA
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he seeks to invite South Korea, Australia, India and Russia to this year’s G7 summit. File Photo by Ettore Ferrari/EPA

June 2 (UPI) -- China warned against excluding Beijing from major world organizations, following reports U.S. President Donald Trump could be seeking to expand the Group of Seven summit to include South Korea, Australia, India and Russia.

Beijing foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday at a regular press briefing the U.S. invitation, which excluded China, will not benefit the United States.

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Targeting China and leaving Beijing out of important circles will not win trust, Zhao said.

"This is not in the interests of the countries."

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The G7 is an intergovernmental economic organization of advanced, mostly Western economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States. In 2018, the seven nations represented nearly 60 percent of global net wealth, and more than 32 percent of global GDP, as measured by purchasing power parity.

China has flexed its economic muscles overseas with various projects, including the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

On Tuesday Zhao said that China has consistently felt that "any international organization or conference should help promote mutual trust in all countries."

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"It should also help protect multilateralism, world peace and development."

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Earlier in the week, Trump had said he sought to invite South Korea, Australia, India and Russia to this year's G7 summit, scheduled to take place during the United Nations General Assembly in September.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Tuesday President Moon Jae-in shared a 15-minute phone call with Trump to accept the invitation to G7.

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"I am willing to accept it and South Korea will play the role that it can over quarantine and the economy," Moon had said.

Seoul's presidential Blue House said the forum, to be expanded to a G11 or a G12, was being considered because Trump had said the G7's "outdated system" does not represent current security demands.

South Korea's decision comes after Zhao had said last week China opposes the U.S. THAAD defense system on the Korean Peninsula. U.S. and South Korean troops brought replacement THAAD missiles to a base in South Korea overnight.

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