Toe-curling moment G7 leaders sing happy birthday to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz… after Trudeau asks 'big guy' Joe Biden how he slept and shares kiss on the cheek with Macron

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This is the toe-curling moment G7 leaders sing happy birthday to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Footage shows the leaders of Germany, France, the US, Canada, Britain, Italy and Japan starting off today’s talks by congratulating Scholz on his 66th birthday.

Unfortunately their pitch was off and everyone sang out of sync, illustrating why the group is better off in politics than serenading the masses. 

The birthday song came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted US President Joe Biden asking: ‘Sleep well big guy?’ as he met the others for the second day of their summit in Puglia, Italy.

Trudeau later shared a kiss on the cheek with Emmanuel Macron after the French president greeted European commission president Ursula von der Leyen the same way.

Footage shows the leaders of Germany, France, the US, Canada, Britain, Italy and Japan starting off today's talks by congratulating Scholz to his 66th birthday. Pictured above as they are singing happy birthday

Footage shows the leaders of Germany, France, the US, Canada, Britain, Italy and Japan starting off today’s talks by congratulating Scholz to his 66th birthday. Pictured above as they are singing happy birthday

Olaf Scholz appeared overjoyed as the other G7 leaders congratulated him on his birthday

Olaf Scholz appeared overjoyed as the other G7 leaders congratulated him on his birthday

The birthday song came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left next to Rishi Sunak) greeted US President Joe Biden asking: 'Sleep well big guy?' as he met the others for the second day of their summit in Puglia, Italy

The birthday song came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left next to Rishi Sunak) greeted US President Joe Biden asking: ‘Sleep well big guy?’ as he met the others for the second day of their summit in Puglia, Italy

Trudeau later shared a kiss on the cheek with Emmanuel Macron after the French president greeted European commission president Ursula von der Leyen the same way

Trudeau later shared a kiss on the cheek with Emmanuel Macron after the French president greeted European commission president Ursula von der Leyen the same way

The G7 leaders turned their attention to China today, from security in the Asia-Pacific to how best to protect their industries while avoiding an outright trade war with Beijing.

After the first day on Thursday was dominated by Ukraine, the leaders started off today by addressing immigration before focusing on fair trade with the world’s second-largest economy, notably on green technology.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was set to lead the talks, which officials said would also address North Korea and territorial disputes between China and its neighbours.

In addition, the Group of Seven rich democracies will be seeking a common response to China’s alleged support of Russia’s military expansion, which Washington says is fuelling the war in Ukraine.

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‘G7 countries are on the same page vis-a-vis China,’ a Japanese government source told AFP.

Thursday’s talks, attended by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, were marked by a strong show of G7 support for Kyiv in its war with Russia, and the agreement of a $50-billion new loan.

But there were also tensions, with France and the United States criticising host Italy over its reported attempts to water down references to abortion access in the final summit statement.

The summit comes amid souring trade relations between China and the West, exemplified by the European Union’s announcement this week of plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles.

Beijing denounced what it called ‘naked protectionist behaviour’ and said it reserved the right to file a suit with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The US, Japan and the EU – which attends G7 summits as an unofficial eighth partner – have all voiced concern over China’s so-called ‘industrial overcapacity’.

They say generous subsidies by Beijing, particularly in green energy and technology sectors such as solar panels and electric vehicles, result in unfairly cheap goods flooding the global market.

That excess capacity threatens Western companies struggling to compete, particularly in the growing green tech sector.

G7 leaders during a working session on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy, Africa-Mediterranean on day two of the 50th G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia on June 14, 2024

G7 leaders during a working session on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy, Africa-Mediterranean on day two of the 50th G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia on June 14, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni during a working session on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy, Africa-Mediterranean on day two of the 50th G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia on June 14, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni during a working session on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy, Africa-Mediterranean on day two of the 50th G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia on June 14, 2024

Pope Francis participates in a round table with G7 leaders and state leaders on the second day of the G7 summit, in Borgo Egnazia, Apulia region, southern Italy, 14 June 2024

Pope Francis participates in a round table with G7 leaders and state leaders on the second day of the G7 summit, in Borgo Egnazia, Apulia region, southern Italy, 14 June 2024

‘We will confront China’s non-market policies that are leading to harmful global spillovers,’ John Kirby, the US National Security Council spokesman, told journalists ahead of the summit.

China has dismissed the concerns but Washington is pressing for a united G7 front.

The group’s finance ministers warned last month that they would weigh steps to ‘ensure a level playing field’ for all countries.

Another focus on Friday is China’s recent restrictions on exports of minerals such as gallium, germanium and graphite, which are critical in industries such as telecommunications and electric vehicles.

The curbs threaten international supply chains, and there are fears they could be followed by restrictions on other materials such as rare earth elements crucial for electronics.

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The G7 leaders will also address security and defence concerns, including accusations Beijing has helped expand Russia’s armed forces.

Biden on Thursday said the group had ‘agreed to taking collective action’ against China’s role in supplying Russia with ‘materials they need for their war machine’.

Washington has accused Beijing of helping Russia’s defence industry – and therefore its invasion of Ukraine – through joint production of drones and exports of machine tools needed for ballistic missiles.

At a joint press conference with Biden, Zelensky said he had spoken by phone to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who ‘gave me his word’ that he would not sell weapons to Russia. ‘We will see,’ Zelensky added.

On the agenda is also wider security in the Asia-Pacific, where China’s confrontational tactics and militarisation of islands in the South China Sea – as well as its recent war games around self-ruled Taiwan – have increased fears of a potential conflict.

At the last G7 summit, in Japan, the leaders said in their final statement that they ‘oppose China’s militarisation activities in the region’.

The Japanese government source said it was crucial for the leaders in Puglia to send a clear message to Xi that the issue was not merely regional, but of concern to all the G7 nations.

‘All the (G7) countries are aware that we need to convey the message very candidly to the Chinese at the very top level,’ the source said.