China lodged Saturday a solemn protest against statements issued by Group of Seven leaders during their summit in Hiroshima, saying they grossly interfered in its internal affairs such as with regard to Taiwan and that it is not engaged in "economic coercion."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing "strongly deplores and firmly opposes" the communique, adding that resolving the Taiwan issue is a matter for the Chinese people to decide.

The G-7 leaders called on the Communist-led government, which regards self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, to resolve conflicts related to the democratic island in a peaceful manner. Beijing has indicated it is prepared to bring the territory into its fold by force if necessary.

"No one should underestimate the determination, resolve and capability of the Chinese people in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the ministry said in a statement.

With China apparently in mind, the G-7 also said it will launch a platform to prevent practices of economic coercion from being used as a tool to pursue political objectives.

But Beijing said it was the United States that is really engaging in coercion by politicizing and weaponizing economic and trade relations, referring to Washington's "massive unilateral sanctions and acts of 'decoupling' and disrupting industrial and supply chains."

As for the G-7 leaders' concerns about the human rights situation in China, the ministry said the affairs of Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are China's internal affairs, and that Beijing "firmly opposes interference by any external force" in those affairs under the pretext of human rights.

In response to G-7 wariness about Beijing's behavior in the East and South China seas, the Foreign Ministry statement maintained China is "a firm defender and contributor to the international maritime rule of law" and warned against using maritime issues to drive a wedge between regional countries and incite bloc confrontation.

"Gone are the days when a handful of Western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries' internal affairs and manipulate global affairs," the ministry said, urging the G-7 to stop containing other countries and "get back to the right path of dialogue and cooperation."

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