Trump seeks to shape world opinion on China with expanded G-7

US President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing in Cape Canaveral Florida on Saturday

U.S. President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 Summit from the end of June until September and invited Russian Federation and three other countries, TASS was among the first to report today.

The US President shared his thoughts with reporters on Air Force One on his way home after the launch of the first manned mission into space by a private company, SpaceX.

He added he felt the group didn't "properly represents what's going on in the world".

Trump said Saturday that he will postpone until the fall a meeting of Group of 7 nations he had planned to hold this month at the White House despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah said the move would bring together traditional USA allies to discuss how to deal with the future of China, per the pool report. Korea is a member of the Group of 20 leading economies, and has also closely cooperated with the United States in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.

The other six G7 members - France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Canada and Japan - remain skeptical about the inclusion of Russian Federation, which was excluded from the then G8 by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea, with Britain and Canada having already spoken out against the idea of readmitting Russian Federation. However, such an expansion of the G7 would require consensus of the other members. However, Trump had been suggesting that it be held in person.

Mr Trump has attacked China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China, and on Friday he ordered his administration to begin the process of ending special United States treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for China's decision to impose a new security law on the former British colony. Heads of states of these countries meet annually on global economic and monetary issues.

"Australia would welcome an official invitation", he said.

Merkel said earlier this week that China would be one of the priorities of the German presidency.

Earlier, the USA leader had a telephonic conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and discussed the G7 summit scheduled to be held in Washington next month, stressing the "importance of leaders meeting in the U.S. in person if possible".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman has said the United Kingdom would "look at the detail of what the USA is proposing", and also noted that it was customary for the host to invite other leaders as guests.

As an alternative date, Trump on May 30 said that the summit could be held over the weekend just before or after the UN General Assembly, which is scheduled to start on September 15, or after the USA presidential election in November.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's announcement that she "cannot confirm" she would participate due to concerns over coronavirus helped cement the decision, those people said.



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